Is James Harden the Best Chubby Player in NBA History?

Ever since the rise of Instagram, NBA players have felt the need to promote themselves at any possible moment. Whether it’s Lebron posting about his career milestones, Dwyane Wade hashtagging “One Last Dance,” or any player posting their offseason workouts, these guys will go to great lengths to make themselves look good. What’s funny is that players make these posts, hoping that it will make them look doper than they actually are. However, there are definitely moments where these self-promotions tend to backfire.

James Harden showed us a pretty good example of this the other night. After a magnificent 61 point performance against the Spurs, Harden thought it would be badass to post a video of himself working out immediately after the game. (See video below)

 In the end, the video was not as well-received as Harden had hoped for. Many people had similar comments saying, “This dude is the most out of shape in-shape person I have ever seen” or “How does this fat boy play an entire 48 minutes?” They were all good responses, and they all made sure to roast Harden for not having the typical NBA body.

 And they’re right. You watch this video and think “How does someone with a stomach that big have the energy to put up 40 shots a game?” And yet, he does it every game. Not only is he chubby, but James Harden is having the best season of his career, averaging 36.5 points per game, which is 12.5 more than his career average of 24. The Beard is lights out, and he has been balling out all season long. One 3-legged step back at a time.
It wasn’t until watching his Instagram post that I realized, Harden might be the best “fat boy” the NBA has ever seen.
In this modern NBA, the only other all star “fat boys” are players like Draymond and Andre Drummond. But those guys are either big men or role players, and aren’t anywhere near Harden’s skill level. Even compared to prime fat Melo or Deron Williams, Harden is just way above them. I realize Shaq vs Harden might be a debate, but if we’re talking pure skill level, that’s Harden no question. Shaq just used his fat to move people, making him the most dominant.

But overall, if there’s one thing we have learned from Harden’s video, or just other fat players in the past, you don’t have to be this perfectly cut, 5% body fat guy to play in the NBA. You can play just fine looking like a typical MLB player.