“He has the characteristics of a fat boy… He wasn’t bulls***ting” Iman Shumpert doesn’t think James Harden is to blame for being out of shape » FirstSportz

James Harden and Iman Shumpert of the Houston Rockets
James Harden and Iman Shumpert of the Houston Rockets

James Harden has often been criticized and bad-mouthed since leaving the Houston Rockets for his increasing weight, which has evidently affected his speed, agility and shooting. While many keep blaming the former MVP, his former teammate Iman Shumpert gives an insight into the situation and states that James shouldn’t be blamed for it.

James Harden is one of the elite guards with quick feet and a nice shooting range. He could pass the ball and drive to the edge with ease – making him one of the most feared attacking players in the league. But lately its form, and especially fewer attempts, have been targeted by critics. Above all, they understood “weight gain” as the root cause. Out of form, Harden couldn’t perform for the news teams he went on, and it cost them dearly. In the same vein, his former teammate Iman Shumpert offered some insights into the situation.

Shumpert, who sided with his Houston Rocket teammate, pointed out that the hamstring injury changed James Harden’s routine and training, which led to the weight gain. As anyone can understand, no athlete with a hamstring problem can do much cardio and that would eventually lead to weight gain.

James Harden
James Harden

Weight gain could be a major stumbling block for James Harden and his championship aspirations

The Brooklyn Nets Big-3 by Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden
The Brooklyn Nets Big-3 by Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden

After requesting a trade from the Houston Rockets, Harden joined an offensive duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. But things didn’t go as expected. As a result, Harden moved to the Philadelphia 76ers to help the in-form Joel Embiid and the team win it all. Playing a few regular season games and two playoff series, Harden showed he can be a dominant force at times, but still couldn’t justify his hefty price tag. The former top scorer appeared to be out of shape throughout the 2021/22 season as he dealt with persistent hamstring problems. Many wondered if he could regain the form that made him one of the league’s best offensive arms and league MVP in 2018.

During an interview with the 2016 NBA champion, Iman Shupert said Harden shouldn’t have been blamed for his apparent weight gain. Shumpert said players with hamstring injuries can’t do cardio, so it’s no surprise if some gain weight.

He said, “It’s James, brother. … He’s never been skinny, no matter (that) he was a little heavy. You can’t do cardio on an Achilles tendon, bro. It’s like the one thing you can’t do right. You’re all mad at the man because he injured his hamstring and then gained some weight. That’s what I say like. He is human.”

Iman Shumpert
Iman Shumpert

Shumpert was supportive of his teammate and understood the talent that “The Beard” possesses, adding, “Yeah, his hamstring was injured, he can’t do cardio. He’s going to put on some weight, man. I know you all see it. He has the fat boy characteristics. … I think that he was able to finish healthy and get his body back in order reassured me that he wasn’t doing shit. The man only injured his hamstring so rest was more important than the cardio.”

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What does the future hold for James Harden?

James Harden and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers
James Harden and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers

As a member of the NBA 75th Anniversary team, Harden is certainly a millennial talent. He’s had big numbers in the past and has every arsenal to score. Though his attempts and shooting efficiency had slipped a bit, he put more effort into the game to keep the scoreboard moving for the team.

After exiting the 2022 playoffs, many wondered about Harden’s situation at the Philly, who has a player option north of $47.3 million after the conclusion of next season. There has been speculation that the 76ers will try to sign the 32-year-old guard on an extension this summer. And to add some positivity to that, James has hit the gym to get back in shape and form a dynamic duo again with Joel Embiid. 76ers fans are hoping for the best of Harden as the pair have looked promising this season.

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https://firstsportz.com/nba-news-iman-shumpert-believes-james-harden-is-not-to-blame-for-being-out-of-shape/ “He has the characteristics of a fat boy… He wasn’t bulls***ting” Iman Shumpert doesn’t think James Harden is to blame for being out of shape » FirstSportz

Subhankar Mondal

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