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James Harden: Skipping Olympics one of toughest decisions of my life

New York Knicks v Houston Rockets

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 04: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets celebrates a shot against the New York Knicks during their game at the Toyota Center on October 4, 2016 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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James Harden skipped the Rio Olympics, but the Rockets star has still had a noteworthy summer.

He organized offseason workouts for Houston players, changed positions to one with a larger burden and is trying to inject more enthusiasm into the team. He even convinced a teammate he’d play defense this year.

Harden, via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

“I have made the sacrifice that I want to do whatever it takes to win, so it’s one of the reasons why I didn’t go to the Olympics this summer,” Harden told The Vertical. “It was one of the toughest decisions that I’ve ever made in my life. For my legacy here in Houston and in the NBA, I thought it was important.”

I believe Harden agonized over whether or not to play in the Olympics.

But know what’s harder than skipping the Olympics to help your NBA team win? Skipping the Olympics AND helping your NBA team win.

If you’re a Rockets fan and appreciate Harden directing his energies toward the team that you care more about, be pleased with his decision. But I don’t know why American fans of other NBA teams would appreciate Harden more or view him as more sympathetic as a result of him not representing Team USA.