James Harden’s beard is a thing of beauty and wonder. It’s lush and thick, and it probably holds many secrets. But it’s good for more than just outward handsomeness and face warmth. It also protects Harden from himself.
Harden’s Houston Rockets were facing the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night, and with both teams tied as time ran out in the second quarter, Harden desperately tried to get a shot off. The Pelicans’ Josh Hart had him well-guarded, though, and Harden couldn’t get the ball in the air as the buzzer sounded.
Angry that a foul hadn’t been called, Harden slammed the ball against the floor — and then it bounced back directly into his face.
Hart’s reaction to the entire episode is absolutely priceless. His face is a mixture of surprise and confusion, with a little bit of concern sprinkled on top. And rightly so, because the ball came back hard at Harden, who walked off like nothing had really happened.
After the game, a reporter of course asked Harden if getting a basketball full in the face hurt. He said no, and credited his glorious beard for protecting him.
That’s just one more reason Harden should never, ever shave.
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