The NBA season is a long grind, so when it finally ends, there is no begrudging players their time off. Get away from the game for a while, blow off some steam, relax, do whatever you need to do to recharge your batteries. That's all perfectly acceptable.
For James Harden and Dwight Howard, while both guys would certainly love to be playing basketball in the NBA Finals beginning tonight, some relaxation can do their bodies good. Harden played more minutes than pretty much anyone else in basketball this past season, and Howard battled knee problems for half the regular season and then again after an awkward bump into a tumbling Josh Smith in the Western Conference Finals.
If their social media presence during the first week of the offseason is any indicator, both guys are spending their free time doing exactly what we'd predict they'd be doing.
For example, Howard is a huge fan of professional wrestling, and was predictably spotted on Tuesday night in the front row at WWE's Smackdown show at Toyota Center with some friends, including teammate Donatas Motiejunas. As you'd probably guess, Dwight spent his time at the show doing "Dwight things" — flexing and mugging for the camera, yelling at the wrestlers, smiling at the crowd.
He also had a chance after the show ended to go backstage, where he met the company's chief operating officer, 13-time WWE Heavyweight Champion (and McMahon by marriage) Triple H (real name, Paul Levesque). Among the functions that Levesque is in charge of is talent recruitment, and what wrestling company couldn't use a 6-foot-11, musclebound superhero?
So Dwight Howard, the world's biggest sixth grader, spent his Tuesday night living every sixth grade WWE fan's dream, being courted by Triple H to become a WWE superstar.
Where Howard is a huge fan of WWE, Skittles and farts, James Harden has much different sensibilities. Harden is more adult-oriented, with an affinity for clubs, perhaps even the kind of clubs where one of the two genders gets naked. It's not a huge reach to assume (based on pictures that have surfaced previously) that Harden may even like leaving said clubs with some of the young gals frequenting them. Unfortunately, if you leave with the wrong one
and wind up sleeping with her, you could wind up in an unapproved selfie on her Instagram account:
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The girl in that picture is reportedly named Farrah Flossit. I don't think that's her real name.
So there you have it. The two leaders of this Rockets team, this season and for the foreseeable future, are finally getting some rest and relaxation. Good for them; they deserve it. My only concern is that when Harden finally wakes up on Friday or Saturday, he's gonna be pissed.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast.