Past and present Rockets weigh in on James Harden’s weight loss

Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

After the image of James Harden at boot camp went viral recently, some Houston Rockets past and present have shared their thoughts on his weight loss.

As the league enters its seventh week without play, many of the Houston Rockets have been continuing to prepare for what’s beginning to look like a July return. From Russell Westbrook’s workouts with Kevin Hart to Robert Covington buying a hoop and installing a pool, the Rockets are finding different ways to stay ready.

James Harden has certainly taken his hiatus training seriously as well, as The Athletic’s Kelly Iko reported in an exclusive look at his workout regimen (subscription required).

Player development specialist Christian Polk shared an image of Harden during his boot camp that caught everyone’s attention, due to how different the former MVP looked.

Former and Current Houston Rockets Share Their Thoughts

The image is striking at first sight, as James has always had more of a bulky frame. On his Sirius XM show NBA Today, former Houston Rocket Eddie Johnson gave his thoughts on the new-look James. “Harden looks good,” said Johnson. “The dude is in shape. He looks even better than when he was playing.”

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Per, Harden last weighed in at 220 lbs and was averaging 34.1 points per game before the league was shut down.

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When asked about Harden’s dramatic weight loss on his Instagram Live, Rivers conveyed how shocked he was at the transformed James.

“I gotta see if that picture is real,” started Rivers. “Cause he looks — I don’t know what he’s been doing during quarantine. He looks good though.”

Austin also pointed out that a heavier Harden was still dominating:

“Y’all can call it what you want but ‘beefy’ Harden was averaging 36 so I don’t even know what skinny Harden is gonna do,” said Austin. “He definitely lost a cool 20 pounds.”

Harden’s 36.1 points per game average last season was the highest single-season average since Michael Jordan‘s 37.1 in 1986-87.

With the NBA reportedly trying to resume within the next couple of months, it’s going to be interesting to see the kind of shape Harden will be in and how that will affect his game.

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He and Westbrook seem to be kicking up their training to match their extreme desire to win a championship, and that will be a dangerous thing for the rest of the league.