Nothing much happens in September. Players slowly migrate to their teams, a couple media days are scheduled, and training camp plans coalesce. When nothing happens, nothing can be a story. This is exactly what happened to James Harden, who answered a few questions asked by a TMZ reporter last Thursday. The so-called news of the story is that Harden was quoted as saying he would shave his beard off for charity: “probably, depends on what charity.” That’s a nice sensational sound bite, but what actually happened?
What actually happened was that James Harden was graciously answering questions at night, on the street, when he clearly just wanted to get into his car and leave. The reporter immediately leaps into asking what it would take to get James Harden to shave his beard, to which Harden just replies, “uhh…” The charity comments from harden after the reporter asks him if he would do it for charity, and Harden’s reply is more noncommittal then anything else. To be honest, the last question is more interesting, in which the reporter asks Harden if he agrees with his NBA 2K14 rating. He does not. James Harden’s overall ranking in NBA 2K14 ws recently revealed to be 89, which puts him a point ahead of Paul George and a point behind Rajon Rondo. It turns out he doesn’t agree with that rating and notes that “that means I gotta work harder to get better.”
It may only play into the hype machine to even bring up such a non-story, but it’s worth taking a second to just calm down, cool off and concentrate on things that matter more than an unplanned, offhand comment form James Harden. Things like player ratings in 2K14, which matter not at all still have more import than the negative import the beard comment brings. His beard’s staying, and that’s that, so nobody panic. Except maybe over that player rating. 89?