FS1 analyst and NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe is worried about Houston Rockets star James Harden’s slimmer figure.
The Houston Rockets have turned the NBA’s hiatus into a positive, on several fronts. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has been able to get a head-start on potential offseason moves, and Rockets reserve Eric Gordon has been able to get fully healthy, which will surely pay dividends if/when the league resumes.
But perhaps the most notable change that’s taken place as it pertains to the Rockets has been in the form of James Harden. The Beard has re-appeared looking visibly slimmer than what we’ve grown accustomed to seeing, as he’s obviously made it a goal to shed some pounds, much to the surprise of Rockets fans.
To say that Rockets Nation has approved of Harden’s new physique would be an understatement, as Houston Rockets fans have gotten even more excited with each additional photo that’s surfaced of Harden looking thinner. But not everyone is excited about Harden’s slimmer figure, case in point NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe.
Shannon Sharpe worried about Rockets James Harden’s new physique.
On Thursday morning, Sharpe was on FS1’s Undisputed and spoke about Harden’s new physique.
“I don’t know if I would’ve done it, especially not knowing how my body is going to respond, if and when we come back and play a season. I would’ve preferred him do it in the offseason, that way he can go to camp and see how his body is going to respond.
Because it looks like he’s lost 15 pounds. He’s lost a substantial amount of weight, so we don’t know how his body is going to react to that. It normally takes some time to get used to playing at a substantially less weight and normally people do that in the offseason.
But he had some time on his hands and he said ‘I’m too heavy’, so we’ll see how it works out. But for me there was nothing wrong with James Harden. If you were averaging 36 at that weight, why mess with it?”
This is a lot to digest and Shannon’s premise is that it would be better to make such a drastic physical change in the offseason, which is a fair point. But what’s important to note about all of this is that the NBA offseason is generally three months, as it spans from June to September, which is when training camp normally starts.
We’ve heard that the timetable the NBA is operating under to return to games is potentially August, which would be five months since the league shut down in March. From that standpoint, this hiatus is much longer than the offseason, which Sharpe isn’t exactly realizing.
As Sharpe notes, Harden has always played at a heavier weight and it hasn’t hindered him from averaging 36.1 points per game, which he did during the 2018-19 season. In fact, Harden has led the league in scoring in three consecutive seasons, ranging from the 2017-18 season to this past season.
So if Harden has dominated at a heavier weight, why would it be a bad thing to be lighter, quicker, faster, and more explosive?