There’s a good chance James Harden will walk away with the NBA’s MVP Award when the league hands out its annual honors in June and he has given opponents plenty of reasons to “Fear the Beard” over the course of this season— including a move out of an AND1 Mixtape that is one of the most disrespectful things I have ever seen on a basketball court.
In addition to looking pretty badass, there’s also a good chance that Harden’s beard is the source of all of his power (kind of like the basketball in Space Jam). If I had the time, I’d try to figure out if there’s a correlation between its length and his performance, but if he actually gets better as it grows longer, he has to pay a price off the court.
Harden sat down with GQ for a profile filled with interesting anecdotes, but one of the more amusing reveals was that he makes a conscious effort to avoid eating food in front of people he doesn’t know because of how frequently things get stuck in his beard:
“I get food in this shit all the time. Like, all the time. If it’s people that I don’t know, I won’t eat around ’em. When I’m, like, going on blind dates, I’ll wait till I get around people I actually am comfortable around, because then they’ll tell me I have stuff in my beard. It kinda comes with it. If you wanna look as good as I do.”
As a writer living in Brooklyn, I’m morally and ethically obligated to grow a beard, so I certainly sympathize his plight. I just wish I had someone in my entourage to let me know when there’s egg yolk running down my chin.