You Know What? I Kind of Agree With James Harden - Sacrifice Sucks
Finally, someone gave us the inside details into James Harden’s relationship with the Sixers. Ramona Shelburne at ESPN.com put together a great article detailing all the bullshit over the last season and a half, starting with Harden’s “sacrifices” –
Morey built his reputation by believing in Harden and wasn’t about to stop now. Embiid respected Harden’s game and knew he needed him. Rivers did, too, but understood it isn’t always about talent or belief. Championships are borne out of a special alchemy of timing, sacrifice and alignment that’s hard to predict, much less engineer.
But Harden had also come to Philadelphia thinking he would be compensated like he used to be. After his first season in Philadelphia, Harden took approximately $14 million less than what he was due in a player option so the team could sign veteran forward P.J. Tucker away from the Miami Heat.
It was sold by the Sixers as “sacrifice” to both Harden and the public — a line he dutifully repeated throughout the season.
“You have to sacrifice to get to where you’ve never been,” Harden said that night in Los Angeles. “I’m in a really good space on the court and off the court.”
You know what? That’s the first quote I’ve ever heard from James Harden that I can relate to. Sacrifice fucking stinks. Going to a one year old’s birthday party during the heart of college football season so you don’t risk a week-long fight with your wife/girlfriend blows. They’re not even going to remember the thing! Focusing on things like personal and career growth on the weekends instead of going to the bar and blacking out with your friends blows, too. Your company doesn’t even care about you. 99% of us are expendable. I’m not saying Harden’s mindset is correct. Especially when you’re making hundreds of millions to dribble a ball. But there is nothing that sucks more than when you sacrifice fun and your life doesn’t change while you become poorer than you thought you’d be.
And then just as I find the first relatable thing he’s done in his career he reverts back to an egomaniacal insecure mess when you read the story about his All-Star “snub.”
THE FIRST HINT that Harden’s “sacrifice” wasn’t being appreciated, much less rewarded in the way he hoped, came in late January when he wasn’t voted to be an All-Star. Harden, who had made 10 consecutive All-Star games, was dismayed at the snub, sources said.
It didn’t help that his former Nets teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving had both been voted in as starters by the fans, media and players, while Harden was a distant fourth among Eastern Conference guards behind Irving, Donovan Mitchell and Jaylen Brown.
Still, NBA commissioner Adam Silver was prepared to name him as an injury replacement, sources said. Harden just had to give assurances that he would show up and play in the game.
Days went by without Harden’s answer. He was pouting.
By the time Harden sent word that he would accept the invitation, Silver had moved on, naming Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam as the replacement for an injured Durant.
Live look at Harden watching the All-Star game in his Four Seasons penthouse:
After that, Shelburne details a moment during the season Harden was allowed to travel to Miami before the team to enjoy the nightlife:
On Feb. 27, Philadelphia lost 101-99 at home to the Heat — the team that had knocked the Sixers out of the playoffs a year ago. On the surface, there was nothing all that remarkable about the loss, except that it was the second in a row to a team they would likely have to go through in the playoffs. Two nights earlier they had dropped a 110-107 game to their other playoff nemesis, the Boston Celtics.
For a team with championship aspirations, it was a good moment to refocus. Especially with the next game being a rematch in Miami two days later.
But Harden didn’t travel with the team to Miami, sources said. He traveled separately, with permission from the front office, to enjoy the nightlife. This is not uncommon in the NBA, or for Harden, but it didn’t sit well with Rivers and several players on the team, sources said.
Days later, Rivers brought it up in a team meeting, sources said, specifically mentioning several of the players who expressed concerns about Harden’s actions.
The whole episode was “uncomfortable,” one team source said. Even if they agreed with the substance of Rivers’ message to Harden, and the idea of holding him accountable, it was awkward for the players who were named.
Listen, you’ve got millions of dollars. You want to enjoy your night, fuck, all of that. Be my guest. But when do you look yourself in the mirror and realize you’re now the old guy in the club? Like a 25-year-old multi-millionaire superhuman athlete enjoying himself in the club is cool. Old guy in the club is weird. You never want to be the old guy at the club. You’re halfway to social security benefits and you and your buddies are still fighting outside the club in Vegas at 4 a.m. –
Brooo jh pic.twitter.com/h71HKyNGrg
— AllVidsmark (@AllVidssmark) April 28, 2023
I mean what do you even talk about with people in their 20s now? They’re all mentally fucked from social media. Their jobs are eating fake ice cream and lifting fake weights in front of people all day. That seems like a horrible life. Shout out to me for getting in front of that and quitting D3 basketball. I couldn’t imagine the burden of having $3oo million in the bank and partying with hot girls 10 years younger than me. Talk about sacrifices.