by Alex Poletti
Photo by Getty Images
Following a 116-104 loss to the rival Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets star James Harden admitted that the game is missing the talent and personality of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, neglecting to mention that he knows full well the two superstars are currently tied up in his basement.
“They bring so much to the game,” Harden says respectfully. “The world and the game is missing Steph and Klay. I hope that wherever they are, their captors are feeding them—I mean, their family and friends are treating them well.”
Harden has played against the Splash Brothers for almost a decade, and has not been particularly successful in their presence. His Rockets have met the Curry/Thompson-led Warriors in four of the past five postseasons. In each encounter, the Warriors ended the Rockets’ championship hopes.
“I don’t know where they are right now, that’s another thing I’ll say with certainty,” Harden continues. “Do I personally miss them? No, I wouldn’t say so. I mean, I check on them every few hours to make sure they have enough water—by that I mean I check on their social media every day and it brings water to my eyes. Did that scan? Did people get what I meant there?”
The Warriors’ hopes for a sixth consecutive Finals appearance were shot due to a Steph Curry hand injury early in the season. This, coupled with Thompson’s ACL tear during last year’s Finals against the Toronto Raptors and Kevin Durant’s departure for Brooklyn, has led the Warriors to become the worst team in the Western Conference with an abysmal 8-24 record.
“Watching a fall from grace like that is always difficult,” Harden says, trying to keep a smile from creeping onto his face. “But that’s nothing like the fall Steph Curry had down the stairs from when he tried to escape. Metaphorically speaking, of course.”
Even without the league’s most dynamic shooting duo in history, the Rockets could not compete with their old foes on Wednesday. Golden State veteran Draymond Green and backup shooting guard Damion Lee both recorded double-doubles, with D’Angelo Russell adding 20 points of his own. Whether a Christmas Day miracle, dumb luck, or a calculated attack to spite the surging Houston squad, Harden doesn’t know how to respond.
“I told you we should have shot Steve Kerr, too,” Harden’s co-conspirator Russell Westbrook says.