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Clearly frustrated James Harden argues with reporter, calls him “weirdo”

Apr 24, 2014, 10:52 AM EDT

James Harden has struggled against Portland — while he has scored 45 points total he has been very inefficient, shooting 14-of-47 through two games (29.8 percent). Wes Mathews and Nicolas Batum have done a good job of contesting Harden’s shots. He’s driven the lane 20 times in the past two games but is shooting just 38.5 percent on those (according to NBA.com SportsVU Camera data).

When asked after the game about his offensive struggles, Harden only wanted to talk about the team needing to get defensive stops and slowing LaMarcus Aldridge. You can see the questions on the video above starting about :38 seconds in, they reportedly come from NBA.com’s Fran Blinebury. When Harden dodges the question and doesn’t answer it the first time, Blinebury rephrases it and asks again. Then again. Harden won’t play that game.

But when the media scrum broke up later Harden came back at Blinebury, as reported in the Oregonian (via The Big Lead).

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.”

This sounds like frustration misdirected. That happens. Everyone will let it slide. Nothing to  see here, move along.

But I think this speaks to where the Rockets are — Harden is right to call Game 3 a must win. Portland won Game 1, Houston adjusted, then Portland won Game 2 anyway. Harden knows he has to do more. He’s frustrated and rightfully so.

He just needs to take that out on the Blazers instead.

  1. spthegr8 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    What’s weird James, is you going 14-47 from the field in the Playoffs and you are supposed to be Houston’s “Go to Guy”. IJS!!!

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Don’t forget, Harden all but disappeared during the Finals against the Heat. This seems like a pattern to me..

      • spthegr8 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        @Fan
        You are right. I think James is just a Mental Midget. Can’t handle the big stage. & he didn’t kind of disappear in the Finals. The way he vanished into thin air. Cris Angel called him for tip’s!! LLS!!!!

      • moseskkim - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        he played well last year against a westbrookless but still good thunder squad. portland has some top notch gritty defenders in matthews and batum so its been tough but i dont doubt that he’ll bounce back and give a solid performance in a must win game 3

      • brookwell2013 - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        Also don’t forget that Harden was basically benched in the Olympics because his shooting was dreadful and he couldn’t defend anyone……..something just goes wrong for him on big stages.

    • pharohislife - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      Gotta wonder if the Rockets regret not trading Chandler Parsons for Rondo at the trade deadline now. They obviously weren’t serious about wanting to be Real Contenders.

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        When was that scenario floated around? I never heard that.

      • azarkhan - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        Gotta wonder why the Celtics try to trade the great Rondo every year. Maybe they know something you don’t?

    • 00maltliquor - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhca59Tp7Ul92pN1Wx

      Funny how he was talking about defense.

      • hannsta - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        I loved all 11 minutes! You can just youtube ‘James Harden defensive juggernaut’. Even Luke Babbit can be seen blowing by Harden.

  2. purdueman08 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Shave the beard. Maybe youll get a confidence boost by not looking as ridiculous.

    • reesesteel23 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Meh…Cut the hair.
      The beard isn’t so bad.

  3. prareedoggin - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    When the Heat beat the Thunder in the Finals Harden was absolutely no where to be found, even worse then Ginobli. And he’s doing it again lmao

  4. misremembered72 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Reporters can be such leaches. They act so entitled because they have a union but Harden clearly responds to the question in his first attempt albeit a round about way and then he gets asked the same question two more times in a row. If I was harden after that loss, I’d say something worse than weirdo.

  5. kb2408 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    So, the dude with an Afro from the 70’s on his “face” calls someone else weird?? Hmmm…interesting.

  6. aboogy123456 - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    I think Harden is a very smart player but playing smart only gets you so far. When it comes down to beating his man one-on-one, as you often have to do in the playoffs, he’s not an elite player. I think a lot of that has to do with his physical limitations which hurts him on defense as well.

    • savvybynature - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      Also, his complete lack of effort and interest in playing defense seems to be a factor.

  7. ryanrockzzz - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    The reporter was def. trying to stir something up. Harden is a one way player in the league. He has some of the worst defensive lapses you’ll see in the NBA. Until he becomes a more complete player, the Rockets can’t win the title.

  8. bballhistorian - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Shows Harden immaturity.

  9. nawlinsmitty - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Another spoiled athlete. There’s a reason the Thunder did not try hard to keep him. They already knew his mental makeup.

    • time4complaints - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      Mental makeup? His comment was dumb but OKC made a financial decision not to put all its cap space into 3 perimeter players. He wouldn’t be on team USA if he didn’t come highly recommended by the Thunder’s front office.

      • brookwell2013 - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        Dude, he was benched by Coach Krzyzewski in the Olympics; if he keeps tanking like this he will not be on the USA Basketball roster this summer

    • urodaddy07 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      You know that this is not why they traded him. Why are you even saying this stuff.?

      Anyway, of course Harden acted like a little kid, letting a little question bend him out of shape. The reporter is of course stating the obvious and implying that Harden is not a big-game, big-stage player. I personally think that’s BS. They said the same thing about LBJ, and while I am not a particularly big fan of either of these players (they are great players btw); I think its unfair to say they are not good in big games because they have a couple bad games. What Harden has to realize is this; that’s what these guys get payed to do; make something out of very little.

  10. redbaronx - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Guys playing the playoffs that have bad outings and take it out on the media usually don’t come back well. Howard was trying his best to dominate the game, but probably took his team out of rhythm in the process. Look for Portland to sweep this series.

  11. mrnoshoes - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    If you think Harden did something did something wrong just kill yourself now

    • bougin89 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      That escalated quickly!

  12. eagles512 - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    Not a huge Harden fan but I agree with him

  13. eugenesaxe1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    1-I am in no way a fan of howard, but he knew he needed to take it up a level in game 2, and did it. If plan A doesn’t work, you switch to plan B.
    2-I like the part where he keeps saying “WE need to do this” and “WE need to do that” and basically calling out guys responsible for stopping LMA. That’s so much easier than saying “I’m sucking soooo hard right now, I’m hurting the team and need to get my stuff together”.

    • bougin89 - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      Agree about Howard. He’s been dominant. The people that were bashing him before the playoffs started just don’t realize he has a history of playing really well in the playoffs. Expect it to continue.

  14. ericreives - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    I just don’t think Harden’s game translates in the playoffs. Kudos to the Trailblazers’ defense. But Harden isn’t getting the same calls that he gets in the regular season. Plus, he plays from the three point line on down instead of vice versa. So he isn’t able to get easy shots. Plus, Wesley Matthews is making him work on the end.

    Howard had a great game, at least it started out that way. He should’ve guard LMA for the entire game. You’re not 3-time defensive player of the year for nothing. That was only seen for a quarter and a few minutes.

  15. andreboy1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Harden is a rich, NBA All-Star who pays women to sleep with him.

    He’s the weirdo.

  16. sportsfan18 - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Harden, you WANTED the MAX money that you didn’t get from the Thunder…

    Part of that is being a MAN and stepping up and owning your poor play (14 of 47 on a big stage)

    Own it, be calm and be a pro, be a max player, a franchise leader and answer the man’s question and then go on…

    This would have been a non-issue had you simply answered his question in turn… it was YOUR behavior of ignoring it (YOUR choice) and of going back to look for him (YOUR choice to do that after the interviews were over) and it was you who began to get testy and insist he answer questions from you (again, YOUR choice)

    In the overwhelming majority of sports interviews in all sports, college and pro, it’s rare that players will exhibit the things you just did…

    If you CANNOT handle this then WHY did you take the Max deal as THIS is a part of what comes with that?

  17. irvfin3 - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    I knew Dwight would have been better off in Dallas. He won’t win Houston with Harden playing how he is now and previously with team USA and in the finals two years ago. Now that he’s stepping up Harden needs to improve.

  18. void96eater - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    2012 finals all over again, except in the first round. Lmao.

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