James Harden‘s going to go down as one of the strangest players in NBA history. While he is unquestionably one of the most efficient offensive players to ever live and his best years led to him being named league MVP multiple times, his postseason shortcomings and the ways his stints with multiple teams ended have led to him receiving a whole lot of criticism.
Most recently, Harden left the Philadelphia 76ers and got his long-awaited trade to the Los Angeles Clippers. The team dropped its first two games with Harden in town, and on Friday night, L.A. went up against the Dallas Mavericks in an In-Season Tournament contest. Before the start of the game, Mavericks broadcaster Brian Dameris took some time to address Harden directly by staring directly into the camera and spending nearly two uninterrupted minutes laying out why, in his words, “you’re not The Beard, you’re not the system, you’re the problem.”
Tell us how you really feel, @bdameris.
— Bally Sports Southwest (@BallySportsSW) November 11, 2023
It’s all criticisms that you’ve probably heard of Harden before, and they go back to the early days of his tenure with the Houston Rockets. Still, the whole thing ends with a pretty stark warning for Harden, who is slated to hit unrestricted free agency at the end of the 2023-24 season.
“If this doesn’t work, this year, in this system, with this team, then you’re gonna go and point fingers at everybody else,” Dameris said. “And you’re gonna go back home, and you’re gonna start swiping right for another team, and there’s not gonna be anybody left.”
After this rant, the Clippers fell to the Mavs, 144-126. Harden had 14 points on 3-for-6 shooting with five rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 29 minutes of work.