James Harden's controversies: nightclubs, sponsors, and Khloe Kardashian

All the controversies of James Harden
James Harden: from Houston to Brooklyn
The salary of James Harden: 41.2 million
The Beard: a legend
Generosity at unexpected hours of the day
A retired T-shirt... in a strip club!
The privileges of a James Harden in the Rockets
Decisions affecting the whole team
Stay another day in fun cities
James being James
James Harden's performance suffered in party cities
When James Harden wore the Blue Patriot
He chose the mask for aesthetic reasons, not political ones
James Harden and his sponsors
Khloe Kardashian and James Harden
Keeping up with Khloe Kardashian
Why did James Harden and Khloe Kardashian break up?
A weight problem in Houston
James Harden: priced and desired
The legend comes to Brooklyn (and the player too)
All the controversies of James Harden

James Harden (1989) is one of the best players in the NBA, there's no doubt about that. But he's also one of the most controversial players in the competition - and that says a lot. Why is his career so controversial?

James Harden: from Houston to Brooklyn

"The Beard" stars in one of the biggest transfers in the history of the NBA. It involved no less than four teams (Pacers, Cavaliers, Rockets, and Nets) and concludes with the player leaving Houston to go to Brooklyn. There, he forms a super team with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the Nets.

The salary of James Harden: 41.2 million

With a salary of $41.2 million in the 2020/2021 season, few people doubt the performance of James Harden in Brooklyn. However, there's one thing that haunts the former NBA MVP: his passion for nightlife, parties and his YOLO ("You Only Live Once") mantra. Perhaps New York is not the best place to steer clear from that lifestyle.

The Beard: a legend

James Harden's fame precedes him. A millionaire, world famous, and an NBA superstar for years, The Beard is followed closely by fans, foes, and journalists alike. For that reason, any missteps or controversies of the past decade have been loud and become legendary. Let's take a look into Harden's past to get to know him a little better.

Generosity at unexpected hours of the day

For starters, let's review James Harden's passion for night clubs. A hobby that comes with an amazing generosity: the basketball star brings along his entire entourage and spends dazzling sums of money when he goes out. Rapper Joe Budden told about it in his famous podcast.

A retired T-shirt... in a strip club!

One of the legends of The Beard is that he spent a million dollar in a Houston strip club one night. To remember that event and honor the legend, the club now has a Rockets T-shirt with the number 13 of James Harden hanging in its halls.

The privileges of a James Harden in the Rockets

In fact, a former Houston Rockets assistant revealed to ESPN that The Beard had special privileges in the team. "We knew who the head of the organization was and it was part of the deal when you accepted to go to Houston."

Decisions affecting the whole team

Among the whims allegedly granted to James Harden was the power to decide whether the team would spend the night in the cities where they played or return to Houston after the game.

 

Stay another day in fun cities

On what factor did James Harden's decision depend? Of course: on the clubs in the city. "If he liked the city, the whole team would stay there one more day," the former assistant told ESPN.

James being James

The favorable treatment of James Harden in the Rockets also included vacation days, for example when there were two or three days between regular phase matches. On those days, the player rented a private plane and went to Las Vegas to party. When someone in the team asked for explanations, the ex-assistant told ESPN, the answer was always: "It's just James being James".

James Harden's performance suffered in party cities

A fan of basketball once studied the impact of these parties on James Harden's game. They published an analysis of his performance on Reddit that yielded conclusions with few surprises. The best games of The Beard were against the Raptors in the city of Toronto, where there is not much nightlife. His worst games were in Miami, which coincidentally has a legendary nightlife.

When James Harden wore the Blue Patriot

Apart from athletics, James Harden also made controversy in the area of politics and activism. When the Houston star arrived in Orlando one day, he wore a safety mask with a print of 'The Blue Patriot'. It's a mask of support of the police, which is an odd choice in a time of widespread protests against police violence targeting African Americans. In addition, he wore it right at a time when the NBA was mobilizing its teams and organizations to take a stand against the police violence.

He chose the mask for aesthetic reasons, not political ones

James Harden seemed to have had no idea of the mask's political meaning. Or, at least, that's what he said after getting a load of criticism. Harden claimed he did not want to make any political statement and that he only wore this 'Blue Lives Matter' mask because it covered his entire beard.

James Harden and his sponsors

Interestingly, it's not the first time that James Harden's look got him into trouble. In September 2015, The Beard signed a $200 million dollar contract with Adidas, making him one of the recognizable faces of the German firm. However, at his first  public appearance after signing the historic contract, he could not have made a bigger mistake: Harden was wearing Nike Air Jordan.

Khloe Kardashian and James Harden

This incident would have already gotten enough attention by itself, if James Harden hadn't been accompanied by a true social media queen. On the day he was wearing the Nike Air Jordans, Harden was holding the hand of Khloe Kardashian, his partner at the time. His involvement with the Kardashian, as all (ex-)partners of Kardashians can confirm, would blow up any misstep to astronomical proportions. Including this one.

Keeping up with Khloe Kardashian

The relationship of James Harden and Khloe Kardashian lasted for eight months. In those months, his performance on the court plummeted due to the media noise surrounding the couple. "I didn't like the attention," he would later tell Sports Illustrated. "I didn't need to have my picture taken while I was driving. What shoes do I wear? Where do I eat? Who cares! It even affected my teammates."

Why did James Harden and Khloe Kardashian break up?

In this interview, James Harden assured us that he had to "cut to the chase" with this relationship. However, in reality it was the other way around. Khloe Kardashian reportedly ended the relationship, because her boyfriend loved clubbing too much.

A weight problem in Houston

Another controversy of James Harden has been his figure. At some point, it became clear that he wanted to get out of Houston in any way he could. Perhaps to speed up the situation, perhaps due to a lack of motivation, The Beard let himself go and gained some extra pounds. At the start of the 2020/2021 season, his excess weight had become problematic. In spite of this, he still managed to stay among the highest historical scorers of the NBA.

James Harden: priced and desired

James Harden's physical condition might have led one to believe that many teams would give up on him, as he would need several weeks to get back into shape. This is not the case. Even out of shape, The Beard is better than 90% of NBA players. In fact, the Sixers and Nets bid against each other to sign him.

 

 

The legend comes to Brooklyn (and the player too)

Now that James Harden has chosen Brooklyn, it remains to be seen whether he will get his jersey up on some wall as well - either at the Barclays Center or in a nightclub. What does seem clear is that, where he goes, controversy follow James Harden.

 

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