Unless you don’t know anything about the NBA, you shouldn’t be told who Jame Harden is, he is one of the most accomplished players in the league. A prolific scorer regarded in some quarters as the best shooting guard in the league, there is no doubt that Harden is one of the best players in the NBA at the moment.
The Lakewood, California native played high school basketball at Artesia High School and thereafter proceeded to Arizona State University where he played for the Sun Devils men’s basketball team from 2007 to 2009. The Oklahoma City Thunder selected him with the third overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft and he finished his rookie season as one of the players named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
He played for the Oklahoma City Thunder until 2012 when he left the franchise and joined the Houston Rockets as he was dissatisfied with playing behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook who were stars of the team. He was traded to the Houston Rockets before the 2012-13 season and he played for the side until 2021 when he joined the Brooklyn Nets.
The NBA Most Valuable Player of 2018 is a Nine-time NBA All-Star and has been named to the All-NBA First Team six times. Harden is also a three-time NBA scoring champion, the NBA assist leader of 2017, and the NBA Sixth Man of the Year 2012. All of these earned him a place in the NBA 75th Anniversary Team and are why he has made headlines because of his weight.
How Tall is James Harden?
The 32-year-old NBA Star Is 6 Feet 5 Inches Tall (196 cm) and Towers Above Most Men In America
The average height for adult men is not the same, it differs across continents and nations of the world. The tallest of men are found in Europe and Central Asia and the average height is 177 cm. To narrow it down, men from the Netherlands are said to be tallest and their average height is 5 feet 111/2 inches (182 cm). In essence, men from the northwestern European country are generally taller than men from the United States, save for the likes of James Harden.
The average height for men in America is 5 feet 9.3 inches (176 cm) and according to several credible platforms, only about 14.5 percent of men in the country are six feet in height or taller than that. This means that Harden is a tall man by all standards; he towers above most men from his country and is indeed taller than most men in the world.
The NBA star would be considered a giant in South Asia where the shortest of men in the world are found. For instance, men from Timor-Leste, a Southeast Asian country have an average height of 160 cm, they would be looking up to Harden, literally.
James Harden’s Height Has Been an Asset to His Career But The Average NBA Player Is Slightly Taller Than Him
From soccer to baseball, American football, basketball, and a host of other sports, a player’s height can influence performance. For basketball, taller players are believed to have an advantage and it is quite easy to see where this sentiment has persisted: they can easily reach higher and block shots from shorter players as much as they can easily score shots because their height means their shots have less distance to travel to the basket, reducing the chances of being blocked.
Based on that, it wouldn’t be wrong for one to conclude that James Harden’s height has been helpful to his career. Be that as it may, it would be disrespectful to his accomplishments in the NBA if one suggests it is the prime factor behind the successes he has enjoyed. The league has surely seen numerous players taller than James who can’t brag of any significant achievements. In fact, most of the players in the league are taller than him. According to various reports, the average height of players in the NBA is 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm).
So, apart from the fact that Harden has a good height for the sports, which has indisputably contributed to his dominance in the NBA, he has nurtured his skills over the years, so much that it has become a natural aptitude, a flair for playing good basketball.
Who Is Taller Between James Harden and Lebron James?
Whichever way you look at it, James Harden is a phenomenal basketball player. But as far as the NBA is concerned, whenever the name James is mentioned, people think of LeBron James first. The reason for this is not farfetched. LeBron is considered the greatest player in the NBA at the moment and some people have even gone as far as proclaiming him the greatest of all time.
While Harden has a lot to be proud of about his career, compared to LeBron, he has a long way to go. For starters, LeBron James is a four-time NBA champion, four-time NBA Finals MVP, and four-time NBA Most Valuable Player. He is also a 17-time NBA All-Star who has been named to the All-NBA First Team 13 times. Amongst other coveted recognitions, he has been named five times to the NBA All-Defensive First Team, was the NBA Rookie of the Year 2004, NBA scoring champion of 2008, and the NBA assists leader of 2020.
Like James Harden, LeBron James also made the NBA 75th Anniversary Team but the latter James is on a league of his own and it is mischievous to compare his legacy to Harden. In terms of height, LeBron James is also taller: he stands at 6 feet 9 inches (206 cm) which means he is 4 inches (10 cm) taller than James Harden.
James Harden’s Height Compared to Kevin Durant’s, His Teammate
As of January 2021, James Harden and Kevin Durant both play for the Brooklyn Nets but before this, they were teammates at Oklahoma City Thunder. Anyone who keeps up with the league should know a thing or two about the circumstances surrounding Harden’s departure from the Thunder. It revolved around money and the fact that he no longer wanted to be playing in the shadows of Durant and Russell Westbrook as the Thunder’s sixth man.
Durant is one of the first-rate players in the NBA, only a few players have pulled off more career attainments than him and Harden isn’t one of them. Kevin is a 2-time NBA champion, 2-time NBA Finals MVP, and NBA Most Valuable Player of 2014. Also a member of the 75th Anniversary Team, Durant is an 11-time NBA All-Star, 2-time NBA All-Star Game MVP, and has been named to the All-NBA First Team six times. That’s not all, he is the NBA Rookie of the Year 2008 and a four-time NBA scoring champion amongst other prestigious recognition.
In terms of accomplishments in the league, Durant stands taller than Harden and in terms of height, he is also taller. Kevin Durant’s height is listed at 6 feet 10 inches (208 cm), which means he is 5 inches (12.7 cm) taller than James Harden.
James Harden’s Height Compared to DeMar DeRozan’s
DeMar DeRozan and James Harden began their professional career the same year. The latter was selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft as the third overall pick whereas the former was selected by the Toronto Raptors as the 9th overall, also in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft. DeRozan played for the Raptors until 2018 when he joined San Antonio Spurs. His stay with the Spurs came to an end in August 2021 when he joined the Chicago Bulls following a sign-and-trade deal.
DeRozan is a fine basketball player right from his high school days. He is a member of the 2008 First-team Parade All-American, amongst other coveted recognition he received while playing for Compton High School in Compton, California. He played college football with the Trojans of the University of Southern California and was so phenomenal that USC Trojans retired his No. 10 jersey. He was the Pac-10 Tournament Most Valuable Player of 2009 and was also named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team of the same year.
His NBA career has been rewarding and successful. He is a four-time NBA All-Star who was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2018 and the All-NBA Third Team the previous year. These are all remarkable but compared to James Harden’s accomplishments, DeRozan has much to desire. But in terms of height, DeMar DeRozan is slightly taller than Harden: he stands at 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm) which means he is an inch (2.5 cm) taller than James Harden.
James Harden’s Weight Is 220 lb (100 kg), Was He Ever Overweight?
For a long time, the official weight of the NBA star has been 220 lb (100 kg). Given his height of 6 feet 5 inches, it is a decent body weight. Moreso, all through his professional career thus far, it is hard to think of a time his weight affected his performance. Be that as it may, Harden has had the NBA community discussing his weight several times.
Most recently, he had people confused with a drastic change in his physique that led to speculations about him shedding as much as 30 lb in two days. This happened during the NBA trading period in 2021 that saw him leave the Houston Rockets for the Brooklyn Nets.
As it was with his departure from Oklahoma City Thunder, James Harden insisted on leaving the Rockets despite the team’s effort to retain him. When he demanded to be traded in November 2020 and the Rockets management indicated their interest in keeping him, he took to bashing the management of the franchise and his teammates, expressing that they are not ready to make the changes required for the team to be a top competitor.
He reported to training camp late and anyone with half an eye could see he didn’t bother to stay in shape. Having made it clear that he wanted to leave the Rockets, the team traded him to the Brooklyn Nets on the 14th of January 2021 in a four-team deal. All through the pre-season training with the Houston Rockets through to the last day he was seen on the court for the side, he was visibly chubby. Then a few days after he joined Brooklyn Nets, he was all trim and fit, to the surprise of many.
His new look buzzed around social media and the NBA community. While it was speculated in some quarters that he lost as much as 30 pounds in two days, others wondered how he was able to pull it off. Interestingly, the drastic change to his weight had some Twitter users conclude that he took to wearing a fat suit while he was with the Rockets to fast track his decision to part ways with the franchise.
According to those that came up with this supposition, he only stopped wearing the fat suit after he got traded. For them, it is simply impossible for the NBA player to attain such a significant weight loss transformation as seen in the picture below within a few days.
The Secret Behind James Harden’s Weight Loss During The Suspension of The 2019–20 NBA Season
The drastic weight loss related above isn’t the first time James Harden had the NBA community fixated on his weight. Before that, he made headlines for staying in shape at a time when most NBA players gained some weight. Unless you are new to this world, you don’t have to be told that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted a lot of sporting activities, including the NBA.
Sometime in March 2020, the league announced its decision to suspend the 2019-20 season. This was after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus. Even though the season resumed in June with 22 teams playing at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex located in the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, it was again suspended in August because of the wildcat strike that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake.
For many NBA players, the suspensions meant they couldn’t access training facilities and as social distancing was encouraged, with many business centers shut down, it was also difficult to find a place to work out, unless you have a gym at home. Because of that, a lot of NBA players were visibly overweight and out of shape when the season resumed, except for Harden who lost so much weight that he attracted the attention of many and made headlines.
People naturally wondered what happened to him and it might have been speculated that he contracted coronavirus and was recovering had it not been disclosed that the shooting guard spent most of the NBA shutdown period working out in Phoenix, Arizona. It was said that he subjected himself to an intense workout routine during the period alongside his longtime friend and former teammate at Arizona State University, Christian Polk.
To a large extent, the reactions that followed his weight loss were positive. Many NBA fans, especially supporters of the Houston Rockets, took to Twitter to appreciate Harden’s effort. The consensus of their opinion was that it would improve his performance as he will be very agile in court to perfectly execute his dribbling and net his shots without being blocked.
As one would expect, the reactions were not all positive. Some fans and pundits were skeptical about his weight loss. For instance, a YouTuber known as Rusty Buckets who describes himself as an “NBA fanatic” expressed that he was uncertain if Harden’s weight loss was a good thing. Rusty argued that James’ size is one of the things that make him formidable when he heads for the basket, adding that stamina was never an issue for the shooting guard.
A Look At The Fitness Routine and Diet That Keeps Him In Shape
Based on the foregoing, one could conclude that James Harden understands his body and knows exactly what to do whenever he needs to shed some pounds. As such, many have been curious about what he does to cut down his weight. In an interview about his weight loss during the NBA shutdown, the shooting guard gave an insight into his workout routine, detailing that it includes doing lots of cardio. James disclosed that he has treadmills, weights, and other good workout equipment in his house.
He normally goes through a week of high-intensity workout sessions before resumption after any break but typically works out twice or thrice a week, observing a mix of drills and workout techniques. He also lifts weights to gain balance while improving his stability and body control. It is said that he also practices pool workouts and yoga to improve his balance. Apart from working out, the NBA star endeavors he eats the right things.
He once stated that nutrition means everything as he related how the staff at Oklahoma City Thunder instilled in him the habit of eating right when he joined the NBA. Noting that he was all about junk food when he was in college, the shooting guard detailed that he quickly learned the importance of following a diet plan when he got drafted. He avoids cereal for breakfast but goes with potatoes, eggs, turkey bacon, toast, or pancakes and waffles occasionally.
He mostly goes with pasta and protein sources like grilled chicken as his pre-game meal and post-games, he feeds on things like fish with rice and mixed vegetables. James Harden also consumes lots of fresh fruits, from oranges and apples to strawberries, watermelons, and pineapples. He likes making smoothies with these fruits and sometimes with greens like kale. Adding that his diet has been improving yearly, the NBA star admitted that he has cheat moments when he indulges in some hot fudge sundaes, cookies, ice cream, and brownies.
How James Harden Got “The Beard” as Nickname and What He Looks Like Without Beard
Disregarding the fact that he is a prolific scorer, one thing that sets James Harden apart in the NBA is his signature dark-and-full beard. Needless to say, that’s how he got his “The Beard” nickname. His beard has become part of his identity and personality so much that it is difficult to imagine what the shooting guard looks like without it.
While the beard has become his trademark, it has kind of given him a lumbersexual appeal and a unique sense of style. Notwithstanding, it was not planned. While most men with beards take the time to grow and groom it, this wasn’t the case for James. The NBA star only got lazy about shaving sometime in 2009 and decided to let the facial hair have its way.
With his distinct beard, it is virtually impossible not to recognize James Harden straightaway on the court. He now has a massive fanbase wearing fake beards who comes to cheer for him while he plays. It is hard to think that the shooting guard would return to shaving; his days without full beards are over. Before he started grooming his beards, he sported a youthful look with a trimmed beard or a pencil mustache. In all, his beard has now become his most distinct feature and for those wondering what he looks like without it, the pictures below should satisfy your curiosity.
The professional basketball player is a handsome fellow with or without his beard. Apart from it, his teeth also earned him attention as one of the NBA players with bad teeth until he decided to fix it sometime in 2016. Yeah, James Harden once had misaligned teeth but has been smiling as broadly as he wants since he fixed it in 2016.