James Harden Being Super Skinny Could Be Bad for Business

James Harden.
James Harden. / Tim Warner/Getty Images

Not sure if James Harden has been following the news, but the NBA hopes to restart its season at some point this summer. The latest report indicates the NBA is looking closely at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida for their playing venue and is targeting a return date of late-July.

Well, based on one photo, and yes I know it's ridiculous to base this on one photo, but whatever, here goes, it looks like Harden has cut a ton of weight in quarantine.

Yes, that's the same James Harden who looked like this the last time he was on a basketball court.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Houston Rockets
Minnesota Timberwolves v Houston Rockets / Tim Warner/Getty Images

Take the two photos for what they are. One is looking up at him on what looks like a hike. The other is eye level during a game. But can you really deny it looks like he lost a ton of weight? Not saying that's a bad thing, but in a sport where going body-to-body with other massive men is a prerequisite, losing that much weight could be bad for Harden's business. He's a slasher and slashers get banged up early and often. Will skinny-Harden be able to withstand the onslaught?

On the flip side, this could be great for Harden. His weight has fluctuated in the past (who's doesn't?) and it looks like he's in excellent shape in this photo. At minimum, the midsection is tighter than it was during the season and it looks like his cardio game has been strong. Perhaps this means he's ready to play all 48 minutes and never get tired? That would be bad for the competition.

When/if the NBA returns, it will be interesting to see what all the players look like. Some might have gained a ton of muscle mass. Others, simply mass. Harden is on the opposite spectrum, slimming down to a point where it'll be interesting to see how his game translates to his new body.