Every Sunday, theScore's Michael J. Chandler and Andrew Joe Potter highlight the week's lighter moments from around the basketball universe. Here's what caught our eye this week.
Be warned: Weird Week contains coarse content. Don't share this with Grandma (unless she's into this sort of thing).
The Houston Rockets' loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday offered James Harden a final chance to go Thicco Mode in Houston, and he didn't disappoint, taking the court for shootaround with a decorative pillow stashed under his shirt.
A Houston-area car wash was giving out freebies in exchange for Harden jerseys after the disgruntled star left for the Brooklyn Nets. How much are car washes in Houston? Also, this lady's car isn't even dirty. Go do a donut in the ditch.
Note the "Trash Harden Jerseys Here" label, presumably to distinguish that can from the other, the contents of which probably won't be sold on eBay. "For sale: Harden jersey, smells like gas."
Harden reached out to new Nets teammate Landry Shamet on Instagram to inquire about taking ownership of No. 13. Shamet replied with an image of Harden gifting Lil Baby honey buns at one of the rapper's two recent birthday bashes in Atlanta and Las Vegas. Harden also gave Mr. Baby $100,000 cash, a Richard Mille watch appraised at upward of $150,000, and - presumably - a card.
For context, Harden attended both parties in violation of the NBA's health and safety protocols, prompting his late arrival at training camp and subsequent divorce from the Rockets. Good news for the three people who own Shamet No. 13 jerseys: The item can be returned to the club shop for a full exchange or car wash.
As for where the addition of Harden leaves the Nets' current hierarchy of superstars ...
As Twitter users are wont to remind us, retweets don't always equal endorsements. But when LeBron James himself quotes your viral parody of his hypothetical reaction to the Harden trade, that has to count for something.
Note that LeBron didn't exactly deny the veracity of the re-enactment.
OK. That's enough Harden fallout for one week.
On Monday, the Phoenix Suns celebrated the many handshakes of Mikal Bridges.
Read the room, guys. A day later, the NBA announced new restrictions on socialization before and after games. Handshakes and kisses on the lips are out; elbows and fist bumps are in. Pandemic solved.
"We can sweat 48 minutes with a guy next to us for 48 minutes, but we can't talk to them afterwards. It makes no sense," George Hill said of the league's Band-Aid remedies, and it's hard not to agree with the Oklahoma City Thunder guard. Either way, Bridges will have to practice on himself for the time being.
De'Aaron Fox was recently reflecting on the Sacramento Kings' results, among them a 31-point loss to the Golden State Warriors in which the Kings guard watched former AAU teammate Kelly Oubre go 4-of-6 from deep. Given how poorly Oubre has been shooting lately (he's 19.7% from 3-point distance this season), the performance caught many - Fox included - by surprise:
Speaking of Oubre, the Warriors guard's diversionary tactics may or may not have forced Kyle Lowry to miss a late try from the charity stripe, and it ultimately ended up being the difference in Golden State's 106-105 win over the reeling Toronto Raptors. You won't see this on the stat sheet.
There's no better time to dredge up a journalist's hot take than immediately after you and your backcourt partner combine for 68 points and 23 assists in a road win.
Come back next Sunday for more oddities, inanities, and obscenities from the wonderful world of basketball - and remember to send your nominations and submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.