James Harden is currently making his Brooklyn Nets debut against the Orlando Magic, giving NBA fans a preliminary look at the league’s newest super team.
Before the game began, fans couldn’t help but take notice of a photo of the 31-year-old superstar. Harden looked significantly slimmer than he had just a week prior while in Houston, shocking the NBA world.
The talented scoring guard has taken flack for his weight while with the Rockets, particularly over the last couple weeks. Many went as far as to blame Harden’s fitness for Houston’s struggles, although his lack of desire to play for the team didn’t help. The 31-year-old forced his way off of the Rockets earlier this week, landing in Brooklyn as a part of a blockbuster trade.
As soon as he joined the Nets, Harden was asked by a reporter how he felt about his level of fitness at this point in the year. The superstar responded with just one word, claiming that he felt “great” about where he was at.
Prior to the Rockets contest last week, an NBA TV analyst commented that Harden “definitely had a pregame meal”, making yet another jab at the guard’s weight. When compared to Saturday night’s photo, the 31-year-old almost looks like a completely different person.
Take a look at Harden in pre-game warm-ups on Saturday versus a photo of him before a game last week in Houston.
James Harden really finessed all of us. pic.twitter.com/IEIlUOHtdl
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) January 16, 2021
Clearly photo angles haven’t been doing James Harden any favors since this year began. Still, before he took the floor for the Nets tonight, the talented guard looks as fit as ever.
Harden will now have to prove doubters wrong about his fitness and his desire to be on the court in Brooklyn. After a rocky ending in Houston, plenty of pressure will be placed on six-time All NBA player to deliver with the Nets.
Brooklyn just tipped off against Orlando in Harden’s Nets debut. The beginning of a new era is now underway.