James Harden made his much-anticipated home debut for Philadelphia on Wednesday in a win over the hapless Knicks. He delivered a casual 26, 9 and 9, and could be seen smiling and giggling like a sociopath who just stepped on a couple children to get to the front of the ice cream line.
After the game, he expressed his love for Philly fans and his new “home.”
“The love, the fans, it feels like home. Just the love, the support, man, from looking around, hearing, ‘We love you, James,’” Harden said afterward.
My lord, talk about a lack of self-awareness. Playing with one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA wasn’t enough. He needs to have his name screamed like cartoons swooning over rooster Frank Sinatra. Happiness isn’t enough, he demands euphoria!
This is outrageous on so many levels that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Also, this goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyway because it’s a pleasant thought: If Harden ever forces his way out of Philly, he won’t be allowed in that city. He would need so much security to even return there as a visiting player that it’s probably better if he just skipped this hypothetical game.
If you’re having a hard time keeping track of all the people he offended by calling Philly — a place he’s been at less time than a lot of people’s summer holiday — “home,” you’re not the only one. However, I’m the writer, and it’s my job to do the research. So let’s take a look…
Harden spent eight and a half seasons — and probably $8 million at strip clubs — in Houston. He blossomed into an All-Star and then an MVP, he came within a game of the NBA Finals, he won scoring titles. To refer to Philly as home after insufferable Rockets fans defended his loophole style of play for nearly a decade is incredibly disrespectful.
I can’t imagine it was fun trying to justify foul hunting and poor playoff showings. It’s akin to 76ers fans yelling about The Process during consecutive seasons with win totals in the teens. The guy who yelled at me on Twitter about the veracity of Sam Hinkie’s methods is most likely toasting right now, but let’s see how he feels when Embiid strains a knee a week before the playoffs, and Harden melts into the useless puddle he does every year when the clock strikes postseason.
The bandwagon fans who hopped aboard the Brooklyn express when Harden forced his way out of Houston like a bloated pig struggling to exit the sty door are furious. You can bet they’re as irate as anyone who’s ever loved a team for 13 months can be. Do you know how much a Biggie-themed Brooklyn jersey costs? These trustafarians had to drink coffee from a Keurig for like two days to save up money for the Bed-Stuy edition.
Do you know what Keurig coffee tastes like after a daily diet of macchiatos from Barista and Baker? It tastes like poverty, and there’s no replicating Skyy’s foam art at home. The sacrifices a few rambunctious bros had to make to support Harden cannot be overlooked. He better watch out when he returns to the Barclay’s Center because he’s going to hear the loudest smattering of boos a player who quit on two teams has ever experienced.
I don’t understand why this should be celebrated. A team tanked to a record degree, fucked up Markelle Fultz’s career by drafting him, sat one of the most entertaining players in the league for the majority of a season because they irredeemably pissed him off, and were rewarded for their own incompetence solely because Harden couldn’t play without his security blanket of a GM.
The people who said Daryl Morey played this beautifully are only right because life was too hard in Brooklyn for poor James. Kyrie Irving doesn’t want to get vaccinated. Durant can’t carry the team for a full season. God forbid he had to exert himself to the point of perspiration. Doc Rivers better pray there are no snags in the playoffs this year because if he thought Ben Simmons was soft, wait until he has to deal with Harden after a modicum of hardship.
The Process was a sham of a strategy, and fans as a whole shouldn’t be taught that gargling vomit for years is the only way to vie for a title.
There should be no reward for whining. Normally, when your parents finally snap and let you put the toy in the shopping cart, you know better than to put the toy in the shopping cart. What kind of behavior are we encouraging?
It feels like home? Really? Philly feels like home? It feels like home. It. Feels. Like. Home.
Hey guys, Jimmy Harden finally found a home. Let’s go around the room and say something nice about Jimmy. This has been a difficult time for him. But now, he’s found a home like a refugee crossing the Mediterranean on an inflatable raft only if that raft was a mega yacht and the other refugees clinging to dear life were strippers.
Fuck you, James Harden. Sincerely, fuck you.