From the ground up

After a routine year-long hiatus, the NBA Live franchise is back this year with NBA Live 18. As it aims to compete with the 2K franchise, this year’s edition has added a full WNBA roster for the first time in basketball gaming history, as well as a new story/career mode called “The One.” NBA Live also snagged James Harden as its cover star after he was featured on the 2K cover with Steph Curry and Anthony Davis back in 2015.

We chopped it up with Harden to discuss the new game, as well as the NBA offseason and his upcoming pairing with Chris Paul. Peep our interview below:

What’s your involvement been with NBA Live beside being the face of it?

Everything, everything. It’s been a great. It’s just is different than how it was in previous years. There are definitely some new features on the game that’s going to help people that play the game actually feel like they’re a NBA player or feel like they can play in these Drew Leagues and these New York leagues and things like that. That’s definitely a dope experience.

Were there any features coming in that you hadn’t seen in a basketball game before that you really wanted to see?

This the first time that actually The Drew League is on the video game. So those are some features right there that are pretty dope, you know. The Drew League gets a lot of attention especially in the summer time. Well now a kid can actually go and play in The Drew League, that’s from a different country or from New York.

This has been a pretty crazy off season for the NBA. What did you make of the Kyrie Irving trade, and especially him asking for it?

I don’t think anybody seen it coming. Obviously it had to be some internal things going on that were bigger than anything. I think it’s the most about being happy, you know. I think Kyrie wanted out, he wanted a different change of scenery. It’s unfortunate for Isaiah Thomas, who’s just getting started in Boston and then to be thrown into the trade. It’s kind of sad for him that he just got traded like that. It’s a business but, you know …You got to be happy.

So you don’t think that there’s any problem with asking for a trade like that?

If you’re not happy and something’s going on, I don’t see a problem with it.

And then more directly involving you, how about trade for Chris Paul?

I’m excited. I’m pretty sure, I think everybody knows that as well. I’m just spending time with Chris a lot, in the gym, or just hanging around or something—just to get to know each other because that’s going to translate on the court as well. I’m excited, I know he’s excited. We’re looking forward to the season.

What are you most excited for about playing with him?

You get another leader, obviously he’s a hall-of-famer. He just helps you, he motivates you, he drives you, he teaches you. And then he helps you on the court with his smartness and the way he thinks, so I’m excited to be a part of it and just learn from him.

What would you say to people who have had the quips about “How are these two going to play with just one ball?”

Usually we tell ’em we’ll just find a way to work. Especially the IQ that we have together, it’s not normal, so we will figure it out. You know I’m sure he’s going to want to get off the basketball as well. Quite frankly, I have too. We’ll figure it out, that’s why we’ve been playing pick up and hanging out and just trying to get a feel for each other. That way it’ll make it easier on the court.

There’s been a big discussion around the league lately about super teams. How do you think you’d fare if you were still with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant?

How you think it would do?

I think it would be pretty damn good.

Word. Now you look at it, it’s just like “Wow, that’d be crazy.”

Let’s say it’s you guys or the Warriors from last year. Which team do you think would be better?

What you think?

I think your opinion’s a little more insightful.

Just do the match ups.

To finish off, is there anything you can tease anything about your next sneaker with adidas?

It’s going to be lit.

Is that all you can say?

That’s all I can say.

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