Does Steve Kerr Have a Trash-Talking Burner Twitter, Kevin Durant Style?

Back in September, Kevin Durant got exposed for using secret “burner” social media accounts to defend himself in online arguments. He later admitted he felt “idiotic” for using them, and it was widely considered to be one of the biggest social media fails in the sports world in 2017.

With that in mind, you wouldn’t think KD’s own head coach would resort to using a burner Twitter to comment on opposing players, but that’s what some people are accusing Steve Kerr of doing. He tweeted and deleted a shot at James Harden and some NBA referees on Thursday night, and while he may have simply thought better of the tweet after sending it, many are now wondering if Kerr didn’t mean to send the tweet from a different account in the first place.

It all started when the official NBA Twitter account tweeted about Harden just after 10 p.m. ET on Thursday. It featured Harden taking and making a step-back three-pointer against the Spurs during the Rockets’ 102-91 victory over San Antonio.

A short time later, Kerr saw the NBA tweet and had something to say about it. On his official account he suggested Harden traveled on the play. He said it was “an embarrassment” Harden wasn’t whistled for a walk.

The tweet didn’t stay up long. But plenty of people were able to get a screenshot before it disappeared, and they wondered why in the world Kerr would take aim at Harden and the refs like that. Some concluded Kerr simply got caught up in the moment before deciding against leaving the tweet up. But more than a few people suggested Kerr may have meant to send it from a burner account, just like KD.

Kerr hasn’t spoken publicly about any of this yet. But it’ll be interesting to see what he has to say. If he meant to send the Harden tweet from his account, most of the Rockets players are probably going to have the same reaction Chris Paul had to something Kerr said to him during a recent game.

And if Kerr meant to send out the tweet from some secret account he uses, he's likely to get clowned the same way KD did. Either way, we wouldn’t expect Harden and the Rockets to forget about what Kerr said anytime soon.

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Even Cavs Players Are Doubtful They Can Win a Championship This Season

Contrary to popular opinion, LeBron James is human after all, and though his run of seven consecutive trips to the NBA Finals might make him seem otherworldly, it doesn't make him invincible. This season more than ever, it feels like Cleveland is surviving rather than thriving. At some point, someone in the East is going to beat them. And after Cleveland's 118-108 home loss to the defending champion Golden State Warriors last night, we might've officially reached that point.

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, there is growing discontent and a strong sense of concern within the Cleveland locker room. The Cavs are 26-17 with only three wins in their last 12 games. They got blown out by a combined 62 points against Toronto and Minnesota last week. They might have the worst defense in the entire NBA, and they've slid so far that many of the team's veterans now doubt whether they can fix their problems this season.

Age. One-dimensional role players. Defensive-issues that go far beyond fundamentals. Several prominent players told ESPN, Cleveland.com, and The Athletic that the team's problems won't go away simply by getting healthy. 

This is not the first time we've heard grumblings coming out of Cleveland this season. Just last week, Yahoo! Sports reported there were complaints in the locker room about “personal agendas” getting in the way of success. Some Cavs players thought LeBron was chasing assists in an effort to win one final MVP award. Others didn't like coach Tyronn Lue's rotations. The bickering reeks of familiarity, like a family that's been living together far too long.

In past years during their inevitable regular season lapses, the team could lean on Kyrie Irving. But Irving is gone, and his replacement is a 28-year-old, 5'9″ defensive problem who may or may not ever be the same after returning from a major hip injury.

LeBron has to know all of this. He also knows Cleveland holds the rights to Brooklyn's first-round pick next summer—and that there are several names potentially available on the market. That pick and this year's trade deadline might be Cleveland's final chance to position themselves for one last run at a title. Among the NBA's contenders, they have the least to lose and the most to gain by making a deal.

No one ever expects a run to end before it does. Miami's Big Three era faded with a whimper, getting blitzed by 14 points per game against San Antonio in the 2014 Finals. Kobe's Lakers collapsed in a surprising sweep in 2011, burnt out and exhausted. Before that, it was Shaq and the Lakers getting old before our eyes and even before that, it was Houston and Hakeem Olajuwon getting run into the ground by Seattle and the Detroit Bad Boys wilting under the athleticism of Jordan's Bulls. 

Is this Cleveland's moment of reckoning? If it is, it shouldn't surprise anyone.

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Future Postpones Virginia Shows Following Violence in Charlottesville

Future has postponed two Virginia dates from his Hndrxx Tour following the white supremacist rallies that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend. Future took to Twitter to share the announcement.

“Out of respect for the tragic events I felt it wasn't rite to perform at this time..please understand my heart mean well VA,” he wrote.

The shows were originally planned to take place at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville and Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach. The stop in Charlottesville was a part of the University of Virginia's “Welcome Week” for returning students.

Lil Yachty was also booked to perform at the Charlotte show. “VA is important to me & always will be. I'm comin very soon, my word! Love Forever,” Future wrote in a second tweet.

Over the weekend, a group of violent white supremacists descended upon Charlottesville to proclaim their message of hate and intolerance. White nationalist terrorist James Alex Fields Jr. rammed his vehicle through a crowd of anti-racist and anti-fascist counter-protesters, murdering 32-year-old Heather D. Heyer and injuring others. 

Following the announcement of the Charlottesville show's cancelations, #giveUVAaCHANCE, an online social media campaign, has asked Chance the Rapper to come play the concert as a replacement. 

Future's Hndrxx Tour kicked off in early July and will conclude on Oct. 29 at San Antonio's Nelson Wolf Stadium. 

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The Kyrie Irving-LeBron James Relationship May Not Be Ruined After All

It seems there’s a new twist every day in the Kyrie Irving drama. To recap the major points: the 25-year-old point guard asked Cleveland for a trade in July. He said there were four teams he’d be wiling to go to: Miami, New York, Minnesota, and San Antonio. Then word got out that Kyrie wanted the trade because he was tired of playing with LeBron James, and he’d actually wanted to get out of town for a long time.

For now, it seems the Cavs are content to bide their time until a compelling offer comes along. They watched Chicago and Indiana deal their stars (Jimmy Butler and Paul George, respectively) for peanuts and then get roasted by the NBA world, and Cleveland doesn’t want to replicate the error of those franchises.

Thus, the big question is: if Cleveland wants to go into this season with both Kyrie and LeBron on the roster, could they coexist? Their former teammate Dahntay Jones thinks so.

Jones appeared on SiriusXM NBA Radio Thursday and said the rifts in their relationship have been dramatized in the media.

“Nothing's to a point where it can't be fixed,” Jones said. “It can be fixed with a small conversation.”

Jones spent parts of the last two seasons with James and Irving on the Cavs. Based on reports, it’s sure seemed like the relationship between the two stars is beyond the point of no return—it seems like they couldn’t play together this coming season. Adding to that narrative, James is back in Subtweet Bron form.

Jones clearly knows the two and the situation well, so we should take his opinion seriously, but it would still be a surprise if Kyrie were to suit up for Cleveland on opening night.

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Who Is Tay-K and Why Is His Song “The Race” Blowing Up?

The Billboard Hot 100 has a new rap entry this week that, unless you're from the Dallas metro area or really tied in to up-and-coming underground hip-hop, probably caught you by surprise (assuming you even noticed it). “The Race” by East Arlington, Texas-based rapper Taymor Travon McIntyre, who goes by Tay-K, entered the chart at No. 70.

The song, which has been remixed by XXXTentacion, Lil Bibby, and most recently Lil Yachty, is the first national hit for Tay-K. But how it happened, and what it means for the 17-year-old artist, is a wild and disturbing story—one that involves several murders, an assault, an attempt to flee from the law, and one music video shot under murky circumstances.

Tay-K started rapping only a few years ago as part of a group called Daytona Boyz. He got some local attention for early efforts like the Auto-Tuned track “Sly Cooper.” 

Just as he was getting started, Tay-K sent a DM to Shawn Cotton, who runs Say Cheese TV. The message touted his crew's “10k plays on soundcloud” and pointed out that they were all between 14-16 years old.

DM
Image via Shawn Cotton

“He reached out to me, but I get so many DMs, I get so many messages,” Cotton told Complex. “I didn't see it.”

By the time Cotton became aware of Tay-K, when the young rapper's track “Megaman” was gaining steam in late 2016, Cotton heard that it was already too late.

“A girl had told me that they had caught some charges, so I never looked further into it,” he said. “People around town was saying that he was gone for life, that he was never coming back. So I didn't pay attention to it.” 

Tay-K faced a charge in Mansfield, Texas, for a home invasion that occurred on July 26, 2016. The invasion, which was set up by two young women, ended with a 21-year-old man named Ethan Walker shot dead. Tay-K, who was 16 at the time, was arrested for the murder and released on house arrest.

He is also a suspect in another murder following a Daytona Boyz performance in late 2015. 

In March 2016, Tay-K was facing a hearing to determine whether he'd be charged as an adult for Walker's murder—a decision that could mean facing the death penalty. So he sent a tweet, cut off his ankle monitor, and fled.

For alleged altercations that occurred during his several months on the lam, Tay-K stands accused of a separate killing in San Antonio and of assaulting a 65-year-old man. While evading the law, he also recorded and shot a video for the song “The Race.” 

The song, which was released the very day, June 30, that the cops caught up with Tay-K and arrested him in New Jersey, is about his situation. “Fuck a beat, I was tryin' to beat a case,” goes the song's opening line. “But I ain't beat that case—bitch, I did the race.” The video, which Cotton confirmed was shot while Tay-K was on the run, became a smash hit, garnering over 19 million views as of this writing.

It is that directness that's making the song a smash, according to Cotton. “It's real,” he said. “Look at the story. It's so authentic. It's real, and he has the story to back it up. Rappers talk shit all day about what they do, but everything he's saying, happened. It's like Tay-K was telling us a story. It's like we're little kids about to go to bed, and Tay-K's telling us a story about himself, and he's visualizing it in the video. And it happened. It's all on the news.”

Tay-K's story garnered support from several well-known rappers, including Lil Bibby, Fat Nick of the Buffet Boys, and XXXTentacion.

So now we're left with a rapper facing serious charges while his first album Santana World races up the iTunes charts. Cotton, who did a recent in-depth interview with Tay-K from jail, said he could “hear a lot of regret in his voice” when talking to the teenager. “When I was telling him a lot of people who was shouting him out and his numbers, he just couldn't believe it,” Cotton recalled. “I know if he gets another chance, he will change his life around.”

If Tay-K does get that second chance, he has incredible potential, Cotton believes. 

“If he somehow gets out of jail, I feel like he could be bigger than Chief Keef has ever been,” he said. “He's young, I feel like he has the street background. I think he'll be a more successful Chief Keef. He'll be right there, because we've never seen this before. Tay-K's only 17, so if he gets out of jail somehow, I think he could be one of the biggest artists of this new rap era.” 

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Who Is Tone Stith, the Latest Artist to Get a Co-Sign From Drake?

Drake was spotted with rising singer/producer Tone Stith in Houston, Texas Monday. In a video shared by TMZ Thursday, Drake is seen sitting in on the New Jersey-based artist's tour rehearsal and talking with Stith about, well, that's hard to say due to the fact that the audio isn't all that great:

Reports claim Drake is taking Stith “under his wing” after Monday's meeting, which was arranged by an important person in Drake's path to success: Jas Prince.

 

Happy bday bro!!! @tonestith #CanWeTalk

A post shared by Jas Prince (@jas.prince) on Jul 25, 2017 at 11:21pm PDT

Stith, whose previous work includes multiple tracks on Chris Brown's 2015 album Royalty, is set to join August Alsina's Don't Matter tour Thursday night with a performance at the Aztec Theater in San Antonio, Texas. The month-long trek will also see the 22-year-old artist providing support for Alsina in Atlanta, Toronto, New York City, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

 

A post shared by Antonio Stith (@tonestith) on Jul 5, 2017 at 3:02pm PDT

Stith currently boasts more than 80,000 combined followers across his social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), a number that's sure to rise after the Drake co-sign and the release of Stith's latest project Can We Talk. The 11-track collection, available on Apple Music and other streaming services now, includes the single “Get It Right.”

In a message shared with his fans at the time of the official “Get It Right” video's release, Stith outlined the intention behind his art. “I feel it is my responsibility to spread love and happiness through my music, and want you to know that I'm always keeping you in mind whether I'm in the studio making new material, rehearsing to put on the best show possible, or even just being a good person to everyone I meet along the way,” Stith said.

Stith recently shared a cover of Drake's More Life cut “Madiba Riddim,” joining previous Stith renditions of songs from Bryson Tiller and Justin Bieber.

The latest release from Stith arrived this week to mark his birthday. Listen to “2122” below.

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Clippers Agree to Send Chris Paul to Rockets in Blockbuster Trade

Chris Paul is on his way to the Houston Rockets, according to a report from Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, in a move that is expected to shake up the NBA's power structure.

Reports came down early Wednesday morning that Paul moving to the Rockets was a serious possibility. ESPN's Marc Stein said at the time that James Harden was part of the recruiting team for Houston, urging Paul to join up with him to take on other Western Conference powers.

Paul and Harden were “determined to play together,” so once it became clear that Paul was going to leave for Houston in free agency, he reportedly arranged for the Clippers to send him in a trade instead in order to leave Los Angeles with something in return. The Clippers will receive Rockets players Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams, and a 2018 first-round pick from Houston.

Things aren't so great on LA's end of things, but this is as good of a return as you could hope for when a star player has informed you he could leave you with nothing. There are other dominoes to fall for the Clippers—Blake Griffin's free agency just got a whole lot more interesting—but they'll come out of a no-win situation with something, at least. In a post on his Twitter, Paul expressed his admiration for the Los Angeles community and thanked the fans for all their support during his time there.

Of course, the focus will be on Houston's end, and NBA Twitter was sent into hysterics with a single tweet, hardly knowing how to process Paul leaving L.A. to join up with Harden. Though some expressed concern about each player's preference to work with the ball in their hands, the general reaction was one of excitement about the possibilities.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Paul's offseason, the Rockets never seemed like a real threat to obtain his services. Early buzz revolved around Paul going to San Antonio, where he would have been the clear alpha dog in the Spurs' back court from day one. Now, he'll have to share that space with last year's MVP runner-up, who had transitioned to playing the de facto point guard role under Mike D'Antoni. There's also the question of whether Paul will buy into D'Antoni's offense, as his teams have traditionally played at a slower, more methodical pace at Paul's behest, while D'Antoni is all about running and gunning.  

But if the Rockets can get it to work, they might be one of the most exciting offensive teams to watch in the history of the league. Harden and Paul are ruthlessly efficient offensive players and more than capable as shooting threats off-the-ball, and if they come to an understanding about sharing the workload, there's no telling what their offensive ceiling is. 

For those of you wondering how Kevin Durant joining the Warriors might shift power around the league, you're looking at a direct product. Faced with an unstoppable juggernaut, players and teams are going to move heaven and earth just to give themselves a chance against Golden State. 

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The Clippers Are Reportedly Taking the Chris Paul-Spurs Rumors ‘Very Seriously’

Chris Paul is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Clippers so he can test free agency, and he and the Spurs reportedly have “mutual interest.”

In basic theory, the mutual attraction makes sense: at this point in his career, Paul wants a title. The Spurs want to overtake Golden State, and they’re probably one star away from making a real run at it. Paul is one of the 20-or-so best NBA players of all-time, and he's still performing at an elite caliber.

In practicality, the situation is a lot more nuanced. The Spurs’ hands are tied with the cap and their current roster. (One example: Pau Gasol has a $16.2 million player option that he'll almost certainly be accepting.) It could happen, but it’d take a lot of maneuvering.

Nonetheless, the Clippers are taking the threat of the Spurs seriously, according to Marc Stein.

The Clippers may have reason to fear Pop and company's lurking eyes. The Spurs are one of the shrewdest organizations in professional sports. If they decide they want a player, they can probably figure out a way to get him, even if it involves some contract jockeying.

The Clippers could give Paul five years and $210 million, or he could command four years and $153.5 million from another squad. He’d be leaving quite a bit of money of the table if he signed with anyone other than the Clippers. But he doesn't seem to want a Melo-esque fate.

Say he does really want to join the Spurs, passing up money for a better chance to win the title. Could the Spurs make it happen? They could, though it would likely involve trading away an important player like Danny Green and letting Jonathon Simmons and Patty Mills go elsewhere. There’s a good breakdown of the full “what would need to happen” on SB Nation.

Say all the pieces can fall into place. Should the Spurs do it? That depends on what the organization’s highest priority is—which I certainly can't speak to. 

If it’s winning now and overtaking Golden State next year or the year after that, then yes, Paul makes them a better team. He fits well with their pieces, particularly LaMarcus Aldridge, who could undergo a career resurrection with Paul's assistance. They would make a lethal pick-and-pop duo. With Paul at the point, Kawhi Leonard on the wing, and L.A. on the block, San Antonio’s ability to control the pace and space the floor may give Golden State all it could handle.

If San Antonio is building for five years down the road, however—if they consider the next couple years a lost cause—they probably need to pass on the 32-year-old point guard and focus on holding onto and developing their current pieces. Simmons (27), Mills (28), and Dewayne Dedmon (27) are all championship-caliber rotation players, and Dejounte Murray, the Spurs’ 20-year-old point guard, has shown some promise.

It would likely make more sense to commit less money to a free agent point guard like Kyle Lowry (Tier II), George Hill (Tier III), or Jeff Teague (Tier IV). The Spurs also have the 29th pick in this year's loaded draft. They could either look to move up the board and pick an elite prospect or stay put and select a guard who's being slept on, such as Dwayne Bacon (Florida State), Nigel Williams-Goss (Gonzaga), or Josh Hart (Villanova).

Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to sportstips@complex.com.

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The Craziest Theories Fans Came Up With to Explain James Harden’s Terrible Playoff Performance

James Harden had an incredible 2016-17 NBA season, and it could very well end with him winning the NBA MVP award at the first-ever NBA Awards on June 26. He averaged 29.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 11.2 assists during the regular season and led the Rockets to a surprising 55-27 record that helped them claim the third seed in the Western Conference Playoffs this spring.

But Harden is definitely going to walk away from the season with a bad taste in his mouth thanks to his terrible performance in the Rockets’ elimination playoff game against the Spurs on Thursday night. Harden scored just 10 points during the game on 2-of-11 shooting and committed six turnovers against San Antonio in a 114-75 blowout loss. And he made matters even worse by appearing to be completely disinterested in playing in the game and turning down multiple opportunities to shoot the ball at different points during the contest. He was averaging almost 20 shots per game in the playoffs heading into Game 6 of the best-of-7 series against the Spurs, but it took him until midway through the second quarter to score his first points on Thursday.

So what in the world was wrong with Harden? It’s a question that many NBA fans inside and outside of Houston asked themselves as the game was going on, and they came up with all kinds of theories—ranging from somewhat plausible to completely ridiculous—to try and explain Harden’s awful showing. Here are some of the craziest theories we came across from those searching desperately for an explanation for Harden’s off-night.

“He Owed the Mob Money”

James Harden theory 1.
Image via Getty/Ronald Martinez/Staff

The Theory: The Rockets were 9-point favorites heading into their game against the Spurs and ended up losing by 39. So some fans suggested Harden may have thrown the game to either make good on a debt or to collect some money on the side from those who have a rooting interest in point spreads.

Are We Buying It? Oddly enough, this is not the first time Harden has been accused of being in cahoots with the mob:

We can’t imagine that a guy who was scheduled to make more than $28 million this season would sacrifice a sliver of his legacy to pay off a debt or make some extra cash. But it’s actually kind of strange to see so many people throwing this theory out and accusing the NBA of being fixed (didn’t Ayesha Curry get destroyed on social media for saying the same thing last season? Hmmm…).

“He Couldn’t Escape the Based God Curse”

James Harden theory 2.
Image via Getty/Tim Mosenfelder/Contributor

The Theory: Lil B put his Based God Curse on Harden back in May 2015, and he reminded him as recently as just last week that it was still on. So some fans who believe in such curses think it may have played a part in his poor performance against the Spurs.

Are We Buying It? On the surface, the Based God Curse seems silly. But in addition to struggling against the Spurs on Thursday night, Harden also had an awful game against the Warriors during the 2015 NBA Playoffs—he scored just 14 points while committing 12 turnovers—that would suggest there’s more to the Based God Curse than people might think. It couldn’t hurt for Harden to take Lil B up on his offer to lift the curse. Just saying.

“He Couldn’t Escape the Kardashian Curse, Either”

James Harden theory 3.
Image via Getty/Noel Vasquez/Contributor

The Theory: Harden broke up with Khloé Kardashian back in early 2016. But Travis Scott, a big Rockets fan and the rumored boyfriend of Khloé’s sister Kylie Jenner, attended Game 6 on Thursday and even designed T-shirts that were handed out to all those in attendance at the game. So some fans pointed to the so-called Kardashian Curse as one reason why Harden may have struggled.

Are We Buying It? We’ve argued that the Kardashian Curse isn’t real in the past—and we’re going to stick to it. But the fact that Harden supposedly has two curses working against him can't be good for his psyche.

“He Was Drugged”

James Harden theory 4.
Image via Getty/Jesse D. Garrabrant/Contributor

The Theory: Harden didn’t look like himself on the court on Thursday. So some fans—who no doubt caught this clip of Stephen A. Smith—suggested he may have been drugged before the game started.

Are We Buying It? Now that we’re looking at it, Stephen A. seems to be the only one spewing this theory. So… no. But the fact that he even went to this extreme to try and explain Harden’s performance shows just how poorly he played.

“He Had a Concussion”

James Harden theory 5.
Image via Getty/Ronald Martinez/Staff

The Theory: At the end of Game 5 in San Antonio, Harden got elbowed in the head by Pau Gasol and didn’t score at all in overtime. He didn’t mention having any type of head injury after the game, but some fans think he may have been dealing with the lingering symptoms of a concussion during Game 6.

Are We Buying It? Initially, this theory didn’t seem all that likely. How could Harden sustain a concussion and then hide it from everyone for two days? But there are a lot of people, including at least one NBA executive, who think this could explain everything:

At the very least, it will be interesting to hear Harden explain what effect, if any, the Gasol elbow had on him.

“He Was Filming a Scene for Space Jam 2

James Harden theory 6.
Image via Getty/Frank Trapper/Contributor

The Theory: For most of the game against the Spurs, Harden looked like he had been stripped of all of his basketball skills. So some people suggested he had been stripped of them by the Monstars for a scene in Space Jam 2.

Are We Buying It? Uh, no, but that is what he looked like. So if Space Jam 2 ever happens, Harden’s got a strong audition tape ready to go.

“He Doesn’t Have the Clutch Gene”

James Harden theory 7.
Image via Getty/Ronald Martinez/Staff

The Theory: This isn’t the first time Harden has struggled on the big stage. He struggled mightily during the Thunder’s NBA Finals series against the Heat in 2012, and he also played poorly during an elimination game against the Warriors in 2015. So some fans concluded Harden just doesn't have the so-called “clutch gene.”

Are We Buying It? Ah, the good old “clutch gene.” It’s a figment of Skip Bayless’ imagination—and you can bet your bottom dollar he found a way to use it on Friday to criticize both Harden and LeBron James—but we aren’t buying into that being the reason for Harden’s struggles. What else do you guys got?

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Lil B Offers to Lift Curse From James Harden Following Horrendous Playoff Performance

What in the world happened to James Harden during the Rockets’ elimination playoff game against the Spurs on Thursday night? That’s the question that many NBA fans both inside and outside of Houston were asking after San Antonio destroyed the Rockets 114-75 to advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they will face off against the Warriors.

The Spurs played Game 6 of their series against the Rockets without the services of their superstar Kawhi Leonard, who suffered an ankle injury in Game 5, but Harden played so poorly against the Spurs that it didn’t even matter. He scored just 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting and committed six turnovers during the game. And worse, he looked disinterested in playing for most of the night, which caused more than a few fans to question what he was doing:

To his credit, Harden shouldered the blame for the blowout loss after the game.

“Everything falls on my shoulders,” he said. “I take responsibility for it, both ends of the floor. You know, it’s tough, especially the way we lost at home for Game 6. But it happened. Now we move forward.”

Harden, who didn’t score his first points of the game against the Spurs until almost the six-minute mark in the second quarter, also said that the Rockets simply struggled to get into any sort of rhythm at the start of the game.

“I feel like I was making some passes, and we just didn’t knock down shots or whatever the case may be,” said Harden, who averaged 28.5 points and 8.5 assists during the Rockets’ playoff run. “As a team, as a unit, we didn’t have a rhythm, and they capitalized on that.”

And while there might be some truth to that, Harden himself was so bad that some people accused him of fixing the game, as if that was the only explanation for his putrid performance:

But Lil B saw things differently. Way back in May 2015, the rapper called Harden out for stealing his cooking dance and threatened to curse him:

Rockets fans begged Lil B not to put his infamous Based God Curse on Harden, but it was to no avail. Harden continued to use the cooking dance, and eventually, Lil B cursed him. And it looked like there was something to that curse after Harden put up a terrible 14-point, 12-turnover performance against the Warriors during an elimination game in the 2015 NBA Playoffs. He also shot just 2-of-11 from the field in that game.

Lil B briefly lifted the curse from Harden in June 2015, but it didn't last. He credited the curse with helping Harden set a new NBA record for most turnovers in a single season in April 2016:

He also warned Harden about using the cooking dance again this past April and reminded him about the curse:

And as recently as just last week, he spoke with ESPN’s The Undefeated about the curse and said Harden “is the only player in the NBA that’s cursed” at the moment. Kevin Durant had been subjected to the Based God Curse in the past, but Lil B lifted it after he joined the Warriors last summer.

But is the curse really the reason Harden played as poorly as he did against the Spurs on Thursday night? We can’t believe we’re actually saying this, but it’s as good an explanation as some of the others we’ve seen. There are literally people who think Harden threw the game to benefit the mafia, so who are we to say that the Based God Curse didn’t play a role in Harden’s struggles?

Whatever the case may be, Lil B is now offering to lift the curse from Harden—if he’s willing to put his ego to the side and talk to Lil B this offseason. Shortly after the Rockets got bounced from the playoffs, Lil B sent out this tweet:

And plenty of people responded to it by urging Harden to pick up the phone and call Lil B to have the curse lifted:

Whether you buy into this Based God Curse business or not, it’s clear that something wasn’t right with Harden on Thursday night. So it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to take whatever steps he feels are necessary—including possibly calling Lil B—to correct the problems he had before next season rolls around. Otherwise, this curse might continue to haunt him.

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