Do you appreciate a situation where someone admits a mistake in an attempt to forewarn you from making the same one? Those situations are delicate since they easily elicit the response, "If you're so smart, why didn't you...".
I can't help but go down that path after a weekend of watching ASU's Jahii Carson. I want to see more and I'm going to embrace watching him much sooner than I did James Harden. It took way too long for me to come around on Harden after watching him early in his career.
I thought he was aloof. I found out later it he had a strong competitive fire but didn't see the need to show it just to prove he had it.
I thought Harden seemed arrogantly bored. I realized he simply had extreme patience.
I thought he just didn't care. I learned what he didn't care about was what I thought or anyone else who didn't see him for who he was, and is. James Harden only cared about what his family, teammates and coaches thought. He wasn't out to impress.
About a year and half into his time at ASU, it became clear to me people close to James Harden weren't blowing smoke when they told me so many good things about him. I completely embraced watching him during his last 10 games at ASU. He didn't lose anything by my lack of recognition of what made him great. I did.
Why did I just take three minutes of your life writing about James Harden in a piece about Jahii Carson? Simply, I don't want you to make the same mistake I did.
Carson is a fiery point guard. He reads when to score and when to create for others. Every decision he makes is based on the defense and not on what he wants to do for himself. As ASU associate head coach Dedrique Taylor told you and me in the postgame Saturday night, "when the bright lights of the stage turn on, Carson shines brighter."
There's really nothing similar between the game and the personality of Harden versus Carson, except this: both players are having or will have an impact on the NBA.
I will not make the same mistake again. I'm getting to Wells Fargo Arena much more often this year to watch Carson play before I have to pay NBA prices to see him. I hope to see you there.