We are quickly approaching three months since an Oklahoma City Thunder’s team doctor jetted onto the court to inform officials that Utah Jazz big-man Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. In return, shutting down the league, and in many ways fast-tracking the eventual quarantine around the country.
While there is a glimmer of hope about an NBA return this season, in some capacity, the league stoppage has stripped players of training at their facilities. However, that hasn’t stopped former league MVP James Harden from putting in the work. The 8x-NBA All-Star’s new lean and chiseled appearance has drawn rave reviews over the internet in recent days.
Harden Flaunts Slim Quarantine Body
Harden has spent the majority of his time during the NBA shutdown putting himself through intense workouts in Phoenix, AZ, and it certainly shows.
Harden has been training alongside long-time friend and former Arizona State University teammate Christian Polk in the Tempe Butte. Otherwise known as the “A” Mountain, as it’s referred to by ASU residents.
The Rockets star detailed his strenuous training schedule recently with The Athletic’s Kelly Iko.
‘I’ve been doing a lot of cardio. I’ve got treadmills in my houses, weights, and all that good stuff. It really hasn’t affected me like it’s affected a lot of other players.’
A week full of high-intensity sessions would be the ideal preparation for the resumption of sports. Harden wanted to work out two, three times a day, mixing in different techniques and specific drills curtailed to his style of play. The hiatus had caught him off guard, but the return wouldn’t.
Harden’s main points of emphasis in the weight room are balance, stability and body control. Different sets of weights are used, but the goal is maintaining a center of gravity. To aid his quest for achieving balance, Harden participates in yoga and pool workouts.
Harden’s Weight Loss Draws Split Opinions
As you could likely expect, Harden’s body transformation didn’t come without its fair share of admiration on social media, with the majority applauding the Rockets star.
If James Harden was averaging 36 and cooking the whole league while looking like this… slim Harden is about to be the GOAT pic.twitter.com/tUzBqQJAjp
— Rob (40-24) Rockets (@Hou5ton4L) May 22, 2020
It looks like James Harden has lost some serious lbs pic.twitter.com/bJLd53lk1P
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 23, 2020
James Harden has been working out in Phoenix during this Quarantine and looks as lean as ever. pic.twitter.com/3d0qdbKClz
— Ball Don't Stop (@balldontstop) May 23, 2020
I very happy to see James shed some weight, the fact that he was a little heavier probably contributed to him wearing down much sooner this season than in prior years, he couldn't beat his man off the dribble and was getting his shot blocked a ton, that not James Harden at all
— Abel (@AbelGe87) May 22, 2020
However, not all were fond of Harden’s new look. Youtuber Rusty Buckets questioned whether the guard’s slimmer build will pose more harm than good for his ability to bully his way to the basket.
I don't know that Harden losing weight is necessarily a good thing. One of the main reasons he is so lethal going to the basket is his size, and based on the minutes he's been able to handle in the past, I don't think stamina was an issue
— Rusty Buckets (@RustyBUCKETS321) May 23, 2020
Weight loss or no weight loss, we don’t see Harden struggling anytime soon to get buckets. The man has not averaged below 30 points per game in three consecutive seasons. A couple of dropped lbs. is not going to change that. If anything, his amped-up cardio-based slimmer physique will make for a more seamless fit next to Russell Westbrook in the Rockets’ lineup.
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