James Harden may be the pound-for-pound best guard in the NBA, but this seems a bit much. The Houston Rockets star showed up to a preseason game Tuesday against San Antonio looking heavier than normal, and the internet is letting him hear it.
Harden held out of training camp and missed two earlier preseason games after demanding a trade in the offseason. This was the first time many fans had seen him in a Rockets jersey this season. They quickly noticed something was different, though.
The Beard appeared to be battered.
The NBA star is listed at 225 pounds, but that figure will need to grow to keep up with his apparent “quarantine 15.”
He immediately began to trend on Twitter as fans poured on the jokes like nacho cheese. The topic was even so popular that the people Harden was accused of looking like trended. Both rapper Rick Ross and former NBA player and ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins saw a boost online for their resemblances to the heftier Harden, or as he was dubbed “Thicc Ross.”
Perkins even got in on the fun. He tweeted a photo of Harden from Tuesday’s game with the caption, “Yep I got a wig on.”
Twitter, of course, had jokes.
People on the social media site even gave the 31-year-old several nicknames throughout the game. Those included “James Hamburger” and“James Olive Harden.”
In fairness to Harden, the unflattering photos on social media were taken during pre-game warm-ups. He looked slimmer running up the court during the game, Yahoo pointed out.
James Harden Declines to Comment on Trade Talks
One of the main questions about Harden is where he may end up after demanding a trade. The drama has consumed much of the team’s offseason. However, Harden declined to speak with reporters after the game, which only put more pressure on his teammates and coaches to answer for him.
NBA analysts believe he will likely end up with the Nets or 76ers sometime this season, barring a change of heart from Harden, the New York Post reported.