Former Rockets teammate Iman Shumpert addresses people criticizing James Harden for not being in shape, adding the former MVP did have fat boy tendencies.
Currently, the eye of the storm for his playoff performances, James Harden, hasn’t been the same since he departed from Houston. The former MVP who forced his way out to join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn has been unable to put up the numbers he once did.
Harden’s stint with the Nets didn’t go as planned, with The Beard forcing a trade once again, having a desire to team up with Joel Embiid this time. While Harden had a great start with the Sixers, consistency continued to be a matter of concern for the three-time scoring champion.
Things only got worse come postseason with Harden coming up short yet again. The Sixers guard failed to step up amid a wounded Embiid. In a potential elimination game against the Miami Heat, Harden had 11-points and 4-turnovers. The Beard had 9-FGA in the game and was 0-2 in the second half.
The former Rockets superstar has been at the receiving end of a lot of criticism for his weight, evident from his speed on the court. During a recent interview, former teammate Iman Shumpert would come out in support of Harden for being body shamed.
Iman Shumpert believes criticism of James Harden’s weight is unfair.
Though Shumpert didn’t spend much time in Houston, he was witness to Harden’s greatness in the Rockets uniform. In his nine seasons with the Rockets, Harden averaged 29.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 7.7 APG. Harden’s elite scoring had earned him comparisons to Michael Jordan.
However, post the 2020 Orlando Bubble, Harden has never been the same, especially when it comes to being in shape. The former Rockets guard was trolled heavily during the first game of the 2020-21 season, looking visibly overweight.
This marked the beginning of Harden hitting downtime in his career, with matters becoming worse with his nagging hamstring injury. In a recent interview, former Rockets teammate Shumpert shed light on Harden’s weight being under constant scrutiny.
“I mean, it’s James bro, he’s never been skinny,” said Shumpert. “You can’t do cardio on a hamstring, it’s like the one thing you can’t do. Y’all mad at the man for having a hamstring injury and putting on some weight. His hamstring was hurt, he can’t do cardio, he’s gonna gain a little weight. I know y’all see it he got the fat boy traits.”
Considering that Harden is eligible for a $200M+ extension, one would expect the Sixers guard to be in the required shape. While Shumpert makes a fair argument, Harden needs to hit the gym this off-season.