A former MVP with the Houston Rockets, Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets, forming a dangerous trio with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Eventually, the chemistry involving Harden turned into a problem, and Brooklyn traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers for disgruntled guard Ben Simmons.
Dealing with lingering hamstring issues, Harden looked to be out of shape this season. Many wondered if he could regain the form that made him one of the league's best offensive weapons. While Harden only spent a few months with the 76ers, he showed he can be a dominant force.
During an interview with Iman Shumpert, the former NBA veteran said Harden shouldn't have been blamed for his apparent weight gain. Shumpert said that players with hamstring injuries aren't able to do cardio, so it's not a surprise when some put on weight.
"It's James, bro. ... He's never been skinny," Shumpert said. ""Doesn't matter (that) he was a little heavy. You can't do cardio on a hamstring, bro. It's like the one thing you can't do right. Y'all mad at the man for having a hamstring injury and then putting on some weight. That's what I'm saying, like. He is a human.
"Yeah, his hamstring was hurt, he can't do cardio. He's gonna gain a little weight, man. I know y'all see it. He got the fat-boy traits. ... I think that being able to finish healthy and get his body back right confirmed to me that he wasn't bullshitting. The man just hurt his hamstring, so rest was more important than the cardio."
James Harden looks to get back on track for the upcoming season
After being acquired at the NBA's trade deadline by the Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden gave the team a dangerous weapon alongside big man Joel Embiid.
Harden had problems with his hamstring throughout the season.
While many wondered if Harden was simply out of shape, former teammate Iman Shumpert defended James. Shumpert said it's difficult for a player to work on cardio when having to deal with a hamstring injury.
Harden will be a popular storyline this offseason. The 32-year-old guard has a player option for north of $47.3 million after the conclusion of next season. It's been speculated that the 76ers will look to sign Harden to an extension this summer. Fans will be watching to see what the future holds.