While the Sixers took a 1-0 series lead behind Harden’s playoff career-high of 45 points, one has to wonder why the 2018 NBA MVP was in Vegas as his team awaited their matchup with the Celtics. Not only was he there, but the man affectionately known as “The Beard,” was filmed slapping a man at a Las Vegas casino.
In a video obtained by TMZ Sports, Harden can be seen in a pretty heated disagreement with another man, and then all of a sudden he slaps the man. From there things oddly seemed to simmer down, but inquiring minds wanna know why did he slap that man.
Per reports, no charges were filed, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says they currently have no incidents with Harden’s name attached.
From the sound of it. Harden and the man he slapped showed up at the Vegas casino together. That makes it seem like it was someone he knows pretty well and that’s why it wasn’t blown out of proportion. If anything, it sounds like a disagreement between two people who know one another pretty well, and although it was caught on video, it probably was meant to stay in-house.
In essence, it’s basically “water under the bridge” at this point, and something that blew over pretty swiftly.
The Sixers swept the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, so that allowed some down time as they waited for their opponent, the Celtics, to finish off a tough six-game series with the Atlanta Hawks. But of course NBA Twitter wanted to know why Harden thought it was OK to head to Vegas during the downtime and in the midst of the postseason.
In a way it has shades of former Chicago Bulls legend Dennis Rodman going to Vegas in the thick of the NBA Finals, but he got permission from head coach Phil Jackson. The magnitude of the two series aren’t equal as one is in the second round, and Rodman’s trip came during the championship series.
In the end whatever happened didn’t seem to faze Harden who went for 45 points in a Sixers Game 1 win in Boston. Harden’s Game 2 performance, however, left much to be desired as he scored just 12 points and the Sixers got annihilated 121-87. That game-winning three-pointer he hit with under nine seconds left in the game seems like years ago after Wednesday night’s Boston massacre.
This content was originally published here.