Houston Rockets star James Harden is not quite a fan of social media. In a February interview with GQ, Harden had discussed how the internet can sometimes spread things that are not true. Now, recent reports suggest that the Rockets' main man has deleted his social media accounts ahead of their playoff run, a strategy quite famously deployed by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
LeBron James has a long history of taking a hiatus from social media during the NBA playoffs. However, the James Harden social media hiatus seems to be much more drastic, with the Rockets star's break dating back to earlier this year, not just since he arrived in the NBA bubble in Orlando. According to Reddit users, James Harden appeared to deactivate his account back in January and likely wanted to take a break from the Instagram scrutiny. While 'The Beard' has deleted his Instagram account, he remains active on Twitter, but last tweeted in May. The James Harden social media hiatus has hardly affected the Rockets star, with Harden returning to peak fitness, showing no signs of rustiness despite the four-month lockdown.
James Harden deleted his Instagram😳 pic.twitter.com/uMjPfGq8Dn— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) February 1, 2020
Harden nearly had 50 points along with a triple-double in the Rockets’ opening matchup against the Dallas Mavericks. Harden amassed 49 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, three steals and three blocks while shooting a blazing 14-of-20 from the field. While James Harden has followed LeBron James' footsteps in going off social media ahead of the playoffs, it appears LeBron James will refrain from his "zero dark thirty” mode during the NBA playoffs. According to Sports Illustrated’s Melissa Rohlin, the Lakers star said that he won’t turn off his phone during the playoffs this time around as he needs to check in with his family and mom every day.
While reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is the favourite to scoop the award for the second year running, scoring leader James Harden, although an outside contender, is still in the running to topple the Greek Freak to win the accolade. The 30-year-old, widely regarded as the best shooting guard in the NBA, tops in all ranks related to scoring this season. While Giannis outscored The Beard in their clash on Sunday, Harden's Rockets came out on top, picking up a handy 120-116 win.
The Harden-Giannis feud dates back to earlier this year when Giannis Antetokounmpo picked Kemba Walker over Harden during the All-Star Draft. Giannis took shots at James Harden's selfish play stating he wanted "someone who could pass the ball." Harden naturally did not take the comments well, and sarcastically said that since he isn't a 7-footer like Giannis, he had to learn how to play basketball and have skill.