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Houston Rockets debate: Did Paul George throw shade at James Harden?

Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers is congratulated by James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers is congratulated by James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers is defended by James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Why George deserves criticism for comments towards Rockets’ Harden

Anthony Duckett: Paul George and James Harden don’t have any bad blood, as the two players have never feuded with one another, which makes these comments even more puzzling. George has also never faced Harden in the postseason, as his Western Conference teams have found themselves on the opposing side of the Rockets’ bracket in each of the last two seasons.

George’s former Oklahoma City Thunder would have faced the Rockets in the 2018 playoffs had they defeated the Utah Jazz in the first round, but the Thunder were eliminated within six games. Despite the lack of beef between George and Harden (up until now), it’s impossible to ignore George’s comments.

We also shouldn’t forget the fact that George is well-spoken and isn’t known for making gaffes and Freudian slips with the media. Although it seems as though George wasn’t trying to slander Harden, why did he mention his name in the first place?

If he was trying to explain the need to contribute to the game in other ways when his shot isn’t falling, all he had to do was follow suit of Harden, who struggled to find his shot in the Rockets’ second game of their series against George’s former Oklahoma City Thunder.

Harden: "Nights like tonight humble me. Because I know I can do so much more. If I'm not making shots, I've got to find other ways to impact the game."

— Anthony Duckett (@a_duckett) August 20, 2020

George didn’t need to mention Harden’s name to make that point, which was his first mistake. It also would have potentially made a difference if he would have specified another player’s name, which he appeared to be trying to do after mentioning Harden.

Next: The Case Against George, Continued

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