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February 17, 2017

James Harden

New Orleans, Louisiana

JAMES HARDEN: That's my first time being voted by the fans and my peers and the media. It's a blessing. You never want to take things like that for granted. So I'm here, and I'm happy.

Q. How do you prepare for a game like this?
JAMES HARDEN: You don't really prepare. You just have fun. Go out there and hoop.

Q. You've got one of the best beards in the league. What's your secret?
JAMES HARDEN: One of the best?

Q. Or the best. You have the best beard in the league. What's your secret?
JAMES HARDEN: I don't know. It's all natural for me. Just make sure it looks clean.

Q. Who's got the best hair in the league besides you?
JAMES HARDEN: There's some funky hairstyles in the league now. I mean, I don't know.

Q. James, working on a story about you. One thing that stands out about your numbers, the length of your average pass is by far the furthest in the league. Obviously, this is a really spread out offense, but have you kind of found that your ability to find guys in certain spots has improved in your time in the league? Has the offense and kind of coaching style that D'Antoni brings, is it a lot different than what you've had the last few years?
JAMES HARDEN: Yeah, for sure. Obviously, the personnel fits for that as well. But just knowing where guys are going to be, knowing where they should be, and that's the most important. Making sure that I find them and making sure I make the right pass is something that I think about every game.

Q. Do guys have to adjust to playing with you because of how far away you can find people?
JAMES HARDEN: As long as people get to their spots and are ready to shoot, I find them.

Q. What do you think your team right now?
JAMES HARDEN: I think overall, offensively and defensively, we just need to continue to get better, continue to grow, and continue to prepare for this home stretch postseason.

Q. Were there any specific offseason training regimens that you were on that helped you get ready for next season?
JAMES HARDEN: Just focus. I needed some alone time, time that I could just be with myself and work.

Q. Who do you think is the best slam dunker in the league?
JAMES HARDEN: You're talking about the dunk contest or dunking period?

Q. In the games as well.
JAMES HARDEN: I don't know. You've got Zach LaVine before he got hurt. You got Gerald Green. You got Russell [Westbrook]. You got guys that are so athletic nowadays that everybody's throwing up dunks, even Giannis [Antetokounmpo].

Q. James, what's the first name that comes to your mind when you talk about Brazil?
JAMES HARDEN: It would be my teammates Nene. You got Leandro [Barbosa]. You got so many Brazilian guys that made an impact in this league. Credit to them, shout out to them for representing their country.

Q. James, would you like if there's a chance for you and K.D. [Kevin Durant] to be on the floor together?
JAMES HARDEN: I mean, that's the coach's decision. I'm just going to go out there and have fun and try to get the win.

Q. Would it be fun for you?
JAMES HARDEN: I mean, it's fun being here. It's fun being here for All-Star weekend.

Q. How different does this feel compared to a year where the team is struggling?
JAMES HARDEN: It feels a lot better. Just confident, smiling, happy, having fun. Obviously, All-Star weekend is a time to have fun and enjoy the weekend, but I think during the season, you bring that energy to All-Star weekend. So hopefully, I'll leave with that same swag and just ride it out.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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