James Harden has been distinctively off the pace as his Houston Rockets side have slipped to a 2-0 deficit to the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Harden and his beard haven't been as impressive, and his severely lacking performances are one of the reasons for the impending sweep.
After the Rockets loss 112-105 loss last night, Harden was asked about his offensive failings but disagreed with the reporter and considered their defense to be the problem.
That's all well and good, everyone who's ever watched James Harden play knows he's probably the worst defender in the league, but his offense is what redeems him and when that fails then he is a burden more than the leader his teammates need.
And the criticisms of his offense are well-founded - which probably annoyed Harden - with just 14-for-47 shooting so far in the series, which is giving him the reputation as a play off bottler. Well Harden wasn't happy about that. From the Oregonian:
"But when his media session in the Rockets opulent locker room ended, Harden went back at the reporter, asking if he had ever seen a player not play well before. The reporter answered that the struggle seemed unusual for Harden and was coming on a major stage, the playoffs.
The two went back and forth for a while, with Harden asking the reporter if he’d ever seen a basketball game before, then demanding to know whom the reporter was. The exchange got testy enough that team officials stepped in to usher Harden out.
As he left the room, Harden called the reporter “weirdo.”"
Way to keep it mature James. Portland fans, you should all treat this as a note that your teams dominant displays are getting under the skin of the All-Star.