People Went Wild Over A Picture Of James Harden Looking THICC Before His First Preseason Game

For weeks, trade winds have swirled around James Harden, and things got even louder when the Houston Rockets star didn’t arrive to training camp alongside his teammates. Harden did eventually show up, however, and he made his preseason debut on Tuesday evening in a home game against the San Antonio Spurs.

Predictably, Harden showed plenty of flashes in his limited deployment, getting buckets as he often does.

Before tip-off, though, Twitter got a hold of a photo that didn’t paint Harden in the most flattering light and, at first, there was confusion and bewilderment.

Then, the jokes began flying in earnest.

Harden was visually compared to Rick Ross and others, including former NBA center and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins.

While the jokes were inevitable and unceasing, it is also wise to point out that, a) Harden looked totally fine when he took the court and, b) the pandemic has been at least a little bit tough for everyone.

Harden also looked more than okay physically on Monday when video circulated during a workout.

All things considered, Harden has been an example of impressive durability in recent years, churning out production and always showing up for work. While his reported desire to find a trade is a factor that will contribute to many takes about Harden as 2021 nears, it would be wise to keep in mind just how productive and consistent he is on a game-to-game basis.

The Rockets may move on from Harden, as reportedly requested, in the coming days and, if they do, things will be quite different in Houston. Still, it would be (way) too aggressive to assume that Harden is going to enter the 2020-21 campaign in shape as poor as one photo suggested, but it only takes one snapshot to get observed riled up in the preseason.