Stephen A. Smith demands James Harden be investigated following terrible second half in Game 6
James Harden was nowhere to be found during the final minutes of the 76ers’ Game Six loss to the Miami Heat. In a must-win situation, he put up just two shot attempts and scored zero points in the second half, despite playing for the majority of the third and fourth quarters.
Following this pathetic performance, Stephen A. Smith tore into him, calling an investigation into his Game 6 showing.
Stephen A. Smith on James Harden
“That performance by James Harden requires an investigation. How in God’s name you go 22 minutes in the second half and attempt one shot. It was a horrific performance. Anemic and impotent performance by James Harden”
You know, I can’t entirely blame Stephen A. for this one. It’d be one thing if he played poorly, but this was so much worse than that. Instead, it was a total disappearing act after a relatively decent first half for this “new” version of Harden that surprised some Sixers fans.
In fact, his second-half effort was so piss poor that it had Amar’e Stoudemire and Stephen A. Smith theorizing he shut down intentionally to get Doc Rivers fired. While I can neither confirm nor deny these allegations, if he did indeed do that, I have a feeling it’ll work.
When asked about why he didn’t do much in the second half, Harden had this to say:
“We ran our offense, and the ball didn’t get back to me”
When Harden says soft stuff like that, he sounds like the freshman on varsity nobody wants to pass to, not a former MVP and perennial All-Star. Sure, he’s regressed, and his hamstring is likely not at full strength, but acting like he’s at the mercy of the game’s flow is a total joke. That excuse doesn’t add up when orchestrating the offense and controlling the game’s pace are two of his most revered talents.
Regardless of how infuriating his cameo as The Invisible Man was in Game 6, Harden will be back in Philly next season, most likely making $40+ million on his player option. Though, when asked about seeking a max contract extension, he said he’d do whatever it takes to help the team grow, which may include a pay cut.
I think it’s only fair that he takes a pay cut. He essentially held the Sixers’ offense underwater until the bubbles stopped in the season’s most crucial game. Ridiculous.
Mandatory Credit: NBA Countdown