OKC Thunder said goodbye to Harden at the perfect time

James Harden, OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
James Harden, OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts . Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

Harden brand is tied to the party

The question has never been about whether or not Harden can sustain this ability to play but rather why he holds no regard for any teammates and is incapable of being a good teammate. Lord, even Dwight Howard was able to pull it together later in his career and understand how to become a good teammate with LeBron and co.

Harden cannot seem to make it work, and he has had every opportunity to be a professional. Still, he cannot seem to figure out the balance between work and his personal life. There have been multiple occasions where he has made some questionable decisions, whether he is hopping on his private jet or making sure the Rockets allow him to be picked up by his jet from game to game.

Right now, if you were to google James Harden and just hit the spacebar, you would see headlines like, “James Harden Partying…” or “James Harden gets fined 50,000 dollars for attending a party without a mask.” We can’t forget the Prada Bag filled with 100 Honey Buns and “ Hunnid Buns” (that means 100,000 dollars to you non-millennials) and Richard Mille that Harden delivered to Lil Baby just a few weeks ago for the Rappers Birthday. But my personal favorite has to be a recent article from the New York Post “James Harden Strip Club video being investigated by NBA.” 

Can we back up and read that last sentence?! Imagine the amount of time and energy that these higher-ups are spending on curtailing this man’s lifestyle, and if I am honest, I don’t even know if it will prove to do any good. He loves the attention; he wants us to talk about him because it is suitable for the Harden brand at the end of the day.

This brings me to another interesting point: a massive similarity between “Rod-Zilla” and “The Beard” — the amount of constant marketing that James is continually doing to make more money is extremely impressive. Do not think for one second that there isn’t a method to this madness. The man gets bread, no other way around it. Rodman just liked to do it with tattoos and new hairstyles.

When Rap Icons and Hooper’s team up, they can be influential because they can target us as an audience with much more ease and without the consumer even noticing. For example, I was listening to a track the other day by Baby called “All In” and it is a banger, no doubt about that, but within 30 seconds, Baby drops the line “I be at James Harden house, I’m all in, Houston in the mix.” This is a massive plug for the former MVP because his name is on a track that will be heard by millions, and chances are the listener will pay more attention to the song due to the specific plug.

I realize that is a strange analogy, but sometimes, if we cannot find logical answers to why people behave the way they do it, the answer almost always points back to the money.

I believe that monetary gain is the root of all this if I can play “Armchair Psychology” for just a minute. I want all that money too, and I do not know how difficult it would be to navigate that, but at what cost?

Rodman had great relationships with his peers and mentors — if he wanted to go party, he would tell Phil and Phil would tell Michael, and then “The Worm” would be in Vegas just chilling with Carmen Electra. Now could you figure out what was going to happen after Dennis started drinking and partying? The answer is no, an emphatic no. But at least you knew what you were getting with Rodman.

There is not a real pattern with Harden’s actions, other than they are just blatantly selfish to the outside world looking in, but this is what I love about perception. We never know what is going on with somebody when the media takes hold of a story and runs with it.