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February 17, 2018

James Harden

Los Angeles, California

Q. Do you want to have a four-point line in the NBA?
JAMES HARDEN: No, no, that's too much. That would mess the game up. Guys would be trying to shoot from half court or wherever the four-point line would be.

Q. With 25 games left, do you feel the team is getting anxious for the postseason?
JAMES HARDEN: No, we're not anxious. We're going to take one game at a time. We're going to continue to get better on both ends of the floor. Offensively we're number two. Defensively I think we're seven or something. So we can get better that way.

We're just going to try to build, build every single year, get better every single game, get better, try to incorporate Joe [Johnson] and Brandan [Wright] into what we've been doing. Just prepare ourselves for the postseason.

Q. How important is it to keep the first place in the conference?
JAMES HARDEN: It's important. That's why we're going to take it one game at a time and try to be the best we can be.

Q. How much better is Clint Capela this year?
JAMES HARDEN: A lot better. More time, more confident, he's a student of the game. He listens, he learns, and he goes out there and just plays hard.

Q. Hakeem Olajuwon involved in his personal training?
JAMES HARDEN: I'm not sure about that. But I know he listens. I know I'm on him, Chris [Paul] is, our teammates, Coach [Mike D'Antoni] is. He listens and he learns and he just plays hard.

Q. Can you give a shout out to the fans in Hong Kong?
JAMES HARDEN: Hong Kong fans, what's up, baby.

Q. Can you talk about Nene.
JAMES HARDEN: Yeah, the guy with the dreads? Nene's great. He's been great for us the last couple of years. He's definitely my OG. He teaches a lot.

Q. What is your favorite All-Star Game of all time?
JAMES HARDEN: Man, I think the NBA is creative every year. It comes up with something special and crazy. I don't have a particular one, but I love how they switch it up.

Q. Shout out to Red Nation?
JAMES HARDEN: Red Nation, swag, it's the beard.

Q. What advice would you give to the current men's basketball team at Arizona?
JAMES HARDEN: At Arizona, nothing. I went to Arizona State.

Q. James, I'm from Boys & Girls Clubs, and you were just talking about growing up. So what was it like growing up in Boys & Girls Club?
JAMES HARDEN: It's good, man. You learn so much in the Boys & Girls Club. So many different kids, different ages. Obviously you learn manners. You learn how to just be a teenager. That helped me, shaped me, formed me into who I am today.

That's why I'm able to go back to those kids and tell them the reason I'm at the point where I'm at today.

Q. With the new format for the All-Star Game, what do you expect to change and what kind of performance can we expect from you?
JAMES HARDEN: I think it's exciting. Man, you get an opportunity for guys, a mixture of guys to play on the same team as each other. We're trying to win, though. It's competitive, obviously.

All-Star Game, there are a lot of highlights, but we're trying to win, and we're going to go out there and prove that we're trying to win.

Q. There's been so much talk about Donovan Mitchell. What makes him so special?
JAMES HARDEN: He's in attack mode all times. He doesn't shy away from anything. Once you have that mindset as a young rookie, that will ride you out for your whole career. He doesn't shy away. Big game, steps up, makes big shot, and he leads the team.

Q. Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons or Mitchell?
JAMES HARDEN: It just depends. It's halfway through the season, a little over halfway. But it depends on who finishes. Both are playing really well, though.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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