When the Nets announced James Harden would be returning to action against the San Antonio Spurs, I knew the Silver and Black had their work cut out for them. In a March overtime win at the AT&T Center, Harden put up a dominant line of 30 points, 15 assists, and 14 rebounds. Although he came off the bench, he was almost just as devastating on Wednesday night.
But this isn't about Harden's in-game play. We all know the kind of game regular-season James Harden possesses. On Wednesday, he extended perhaps a more impressive streak: being extremely unlikable. Late in the third quarter, Harden committed this foul against a mid-air Dejounte Murray:
While that angle doesn't show the full story, this one captured by @TheTyJager certainly does.
It's tough to say what's more annoying at first glance, the dangerous foul itself or the look of disbelief on Harden's face? As Murray put it in a since-deleted Tweet, Harden definitely tried to "Play victim like a suckaaaaaaa!"
There's certainly no love lost between Murray and Harden, who had a dust-up in a December 2019 matchup at the Toyota Center.
This is without question one of my favorite Murray moments ever, as it showed his "not-backing-down" attitude at an early age.
If Harden's on-court antics like this aren't enough to annoy you, the way he treated the organization that made him what he is should be more than enough. Nope, I'm not only talking about stuff like this:
But the way Harden jumped ship out of Houston after his own recruitment of Russell Westbrook didn't work out was a terrible look.
If that's still not enough, there's also this postgame answer he gave just yesterday.
Over the years, I've often seen Rockets fans questioning why Spurs fans can't let go of Manu Ginobili's clutch block on Harden in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. The simple answer? Because it couldn't have happened to a more irritating player. I'm sure you know the play I'm talking about, but here it is anyway.
Luckily, with James now chasing a ring in the Eastern Conference, the Spurs will only have to deal with him twice a year for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, here's a must-rewatch tweet just because.
We'll see you next year, James. Unfortunately.