“Why’d Anybody Be Sympathetic to James Harden?”: Stephen A. Smith Digs-up Royal Treatment of the Beard With ‘0 Chips to Show for It’

Published 09/05/2023, 10:02 PM EDT

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The drama in Philly has not gotten any closure between the 76ers and James Harden. The Beard made it clear that he wanted out of Philadelphia and made sure to burn all bridges on his way out. And nobody seemed to blame Harden as he got the support from NBA players and legends. However, Stephen A. Smith brought an interesting argument to the table regarding all the drama.

Since his days with the Houston Rockets, James Harden has not been the same player. And with all the demands he has made over the years, Smith’s argument on Harden having ‘0 championships to show for it’ does make sense.

Stephen A. Smith makes a compelling case


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Veteran NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith made a compelling case against James Harden. While on the podcast Club Shay Shay, Smith brought an interesting angle that makes one think from the other perspective.

USA Today via Reuters

While on the show, Smith said, “James gotta be more accountable. You got everything you wanted. They gave you everything but a pacifier and a bib in Houston.” Smith also mentioned how Daryl Morey cared for Harden to an extreme extent during his tenure in Houston.


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Smith revealed that the head coach of the Rockets did not even show negative plays of Harden in the film room. And when Morey left Houston, Harden wanted to follow him to the Philadelphia 76ers.

But when his request was denied, he showed up to training camp out of shape and forced his way to the Brooklyn Nets instead. Harden eventually forced his way out of Brooklyn to be reunited with Daryl Morey in Philly.

And now, Harden ended up turning on Morey himself. To that, Smith said, “Why is anybody going to be sympathetic to James Harden with what James Harden has done on three separate occasions?”


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Smith digs into James Harden’s past shenanigans

Stephen A. Smith went on to mention that not only did Harden force his way out previously but now he is doing it again. That too after publicly slamming and shaming the president of basketball operations for the 76ers.

Smith even brought up the plethora of players Harden demanded during his tenure with Houston. He added, “Now, you got to remember when he was in Houston. I want Dwight Howard, I don’t want Dwight Howard. I want Carmelo Anthony, I don’t want Carmelo Anthony. I want CP3, I don’t want CP3. I want Russ, I don’t want Russ. And not one single Championship to show for it. It ain’t like you a champion making these demands.” 


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Watch This Story – ‘Is it too late?’ James Harden burns all bridges with a 4-word bomb on relationship with 76ers’ Daryl Morey

Smith’s point was valid and thought-provoking. Harden has developed a questionable image for himself in the league. So, now the real question that arises is this. What will happen to James Harden? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Written by:

Abhishek Dhariwal


One take at a time

Abhishek Dhariwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with a background in journalism and mass communication. Abhishek uses storytelling along with feedback gathering to curate elegant and exclusive content for ES. His writing covers a wide range of topics, from in-game coverage to off-court activities of NBA stars.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe