In Sunday’s NBA Playoffs Game 7 defeat of the Philadelphia 76ers at the hands of the Boston Celtics, James Harden struggled to make an impact, managing just nine points. This marked the second time in the postseason that he failed to reach double-digit scoring.
Stephen A. Smith, known for his outspoken commentary, didn’t hold back in criticizing Philadelphia‘s star guard. Following the Sixers‘ elimination from the playoffs, Smith had some harsh words for Harden, suggesting that the 33-year-old should consider shaving his beard to conceal his identity due to his abysmal performance.
Smith didn’t mince words, expressing his seriousness about the matter and emphasizing the magnitude of Harden‘s poor showing. Having spent a significant portion of his career in Philadelphia, Smith believed that the city’s residents would be displeased with such a performance, making it difficult for Harden to navigate the streets.
“James Harden was so awful, so bad, he should actually shave his beard so he can hide his identity,” said Smith during SportsCenter on Sunday night.
“That’s how bad he was. It was really, really bad. I say that in all seriousness. I’m not joking. I worked in Philadelphia for 17 years. It would be difficult for him to walk the streets. You don’t do what you saw him do on Sunday afternoon in a Game 7.”
Harden‘s statistical impact was reflected in his -30 plus-minus rating in the game. Among the Sixers‘ starters, he recorded the fewest points, shooting a mere 3-of-11 from the field and going 1-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Following Philadelphia‘s disappointing end to the season, Harden faced substantial criticism, with Smith‘s fiery rant standing out as one of the most vocal condemnations of his performance.