SportsNation Blog Archives James Harden
Rapper Lil B might not be a household name at the level of Jay Z or Kanye West, but the Bay Area-born man also known as The Based God carries much power in NBA circles.
Which is why the following tweet and subsequent comment to TMZ are big deals.
Go warriors @warriors and let James harden no he doing the Lil B cooking dance if he doing that flickin wrist or whipping he mark - Lil B— Lil B From The Pack (@LILBTHEBASEDGOD) May 21, 2015
And, to TMZ: "If Harden doesn't tell what he is doing, which is the Lil B cooking dance, he will be cursed. He needs to stop stealing Lil B swag without showing love."
Lil B of course is referring to this dance from James Harden, which caught on late in the Houston Rockets' season, as well as the rapper's dance from his song "I Cook" (whose NSFW video we can't embed here):
But why is this a big deal? Because Lil B's curses work.
Just ask Kevin Durant.
Years ago the Oklahoma City Thunder star tweeted the following:
I tried to listen to Lil B and my mind wouldn't let me do it....can't believe this guy is relevant— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) January 29, 2011
Lil B was not pleased.
KEVIN DURANT WILL NEVER WIN THE TITLE AFTER HE SAID "LIL B" IS A WACK RAPPER, "THE BASEDGODS CURSE" #THEBASEDGODSCURSE ON DURANT - Lil B— Lil B From The Pack (@LILBTHEBASEDGOD) May 26, 2011
So far? One MVP, sure, but no titles, only one NBA Finals trip, and this season an injury that helped keep the Thunder almost incomprehensibly out of the playoffs.
Note: There's a LOT more to this story, including a diss track, a temporary lifting of the curse, a return of the curse, a proposed truce, taking credit for the injury, and much more. Grantland broke it down last year -- warning, much NSFW language -- and Lil B commented on the injury this season.
Now, TMZ says Lil B is giving Harden until after Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors before the curse comes into effect ... although the consequences likely would have to be greater than losing to the Warriors, which is a probable outcome even without a curse.
(But that doesn't mean Lil B is wrong! Please don't curse us, Based God!)
UPDATE: It appears Lil B did not wait until Game 3 to make his presence felt.
Toward the end of Game 2, Harden had the chance to win, but mishandled the play.
People that steal from Lil B will pay now or later all you have to do is pay respect to the original and the leader blind ones will - Lil B— Lil B From The Pack (@LILBTHEBASEDGOD) May 22, 2015
Lil B clarified that this is just a warning, but ... point taken.
UPDATE PART II: And apparently it's a point well-taken by at least one NBA franchise. The Atlanta Hawks, one of four teams left standing in the playoffs, aren't taking any chances.
On Friday afternoon, their social media team pleaded mercy to the Based God:
@ATLHawks I got love for the Hawks and Jeff Teague is a beast!! Hawks deserve great things and the city of Atlanta!!! - Lil B— Lil B From The Pack (@LILBTHEBASEDGOD) May 22, 2015
On Wednesday we asked fans: Who, among the top four choices, is your pick for 2014-15 NBA MVP?
As of Thursday evening, the results were nearly unanimous: Stephen Curry, the prodigious point guard who has led the Golden State Warriors to be the best team in the NBA, is the one.
Unless you're an Oklahoman:
Yes, Texas chose Curry over Houston Rockets star James Harden and, even more surprisingly, Ohio picked Steph over homecoming king LeBron James. But the Sooner State is standing with its own point guard: Russell Westbrook, whose recent triple-double binge has helped keep the Oklahoma City Thunder in playoff position despite the absence of Serge Ibaka and reigning MVP Kevin Durant.
If you haven't yet voted, now it's your turn: Do you stand with Oklahoma, or the rest of America?
Happy Mother's Day! Here's hoping you sons out there didn't forget. A number of athletes sure didn't, taking to social media to share photos and deliver special messages to some of the most important women in their lives.
Kevin Durant, whose emotional NBA MVP acceptance speech included much love for his mother, Wanda Pratt, shared this powerful image before his Oklahoma City Thunder took on the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal:
Teammate Russell Westbrook was among many other NBA stars to take time out -- some from their still-active playoff runs -- to show their love. Also among them: Paul George, the Indiana Pacers All-Star whose mother, Paulette, suffered a stroke when he was 10.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sent a greeting to his mother and sister, while teammate NaVorro Bowman got his mom quite the gift:
Newly minted draft picks Sammy Watkins and Carlos Hyde joined NFL players Cameron Jordan and Chance Warmack in talking about their favorite mom-related memories:
And on the baseball diamond, where teams throughout Major League Baseball are using pink balls, bats, cleats and other accessories, the Milwaukee Brewers' Carlos Gomez went an extra step to show love for all the moms of the world:
Are Houston Rockets contenders?
If you ask most of SportsNation, there are three primary contenders for the NBA title: the Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder. But it's not unheard of for an unexpected champion to emerge, and one of those hopefuls plays Wednesday night on ESPN (10:30 p.m. ET): the Houston Rockets. Entering their road game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard, James Harden & Co. are jockeying for first-round home-court advantage with the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers. But do they have enough to be a real threat? Is Dwight Howard still a top player?