What The Heck Is Going On With James Harden?

When the Houston Rockets got Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster trade with OKC, he was supposed to be the last piece to a legit title run. With the Super Team obsession now transforming into deeply-stocked teams with Super Duos leading the way, Houston appeared to be capable of making some real noise. 

James Harden has always been a bit eccentric.

He has expressed as big a passion for fashion as he does in taking shot after shot on the court, but something has gone terribly wrong. For one, a person’s version of high fashion shouldn’t be akin to committing a crime. Harden’s outfits teeter on the line of legal and illegally obnoxious. Houston is losing and now sits in sixth place in the Western Conference. Harden is averaging 35.7 points per game on the season but in his last five games 23 points on 33 percent shooting and 6/44 from 3-pt range. 

That’s Pepe le pew numbers for real.

You kind of knew he wasn’t going to perform much better when he appeared for the cameras prior to last night’s game on his nightly catwalk into the arena wearing what Dennis Scott described on NBA TV as a “double-breasted poncho.” 

Looks like Harden is more concerned with being a fashionista than an NBA champion. In fact, his recent play suggests he’s quite bored and unenamored with the game right now.  

The unstoppable scorer has fizzled out in recent days. On Wednesday night, in a 125-112 loss to Portland, Damian Lillard (36 points) and Westbrook (39 points) established themselves as the two best players on the floor. Harden, however, continued his nose dive with 18 points on 27.8 percent shooting and 2.8 from 3-point land. 

Maybe this is just a shooter going through a slump. If so, he’s got to step his game up all across the board — on the court and on the runway.

 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.