James Harden is undoubtedly getting his jersey retired by the Houston Rockets one day but according to Geotagged Twitter Data, he didn’t end the 2020-2021 NBA regular season exactly beloved in the Lone Star State.
The current Brooklyn Nets guard was deemed the Most Hated player in the state and apparently, it’s not the only state where he’s hated. Fans in Alabama and Georgia also dislike The Beard, who though an injury-plagued season between Houston and Brooklyn, averaged 24.6 points and 10.8 assists per game.
Overall, LeBron James is the most hated player in the country, followed by the other two major stars of the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Irving, who had a career year from the field and averaged 50/40/90 shooting splits, apparently has haters from Florida to the Carolinas, Illinois, the upper-crust East Coast (probably due to how he left the Celtics) and more. Durant’s hate in California is particularly shocking considering he helped lead the Golden State Warriors to two NBA titles during his three years with the team. He’s also the most hated player in Ohio, probably due to winning those two NBA titles over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James’ hate is across the country, most notably in the Midwest and New York. Other players receiving “hate” included Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook and Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George.
Westbrook is hated in Pennsylvania, dating back to his feud with center Joel Embiid and Philly fans in general. During the Wizards’ first-round series with the Sixers in late May, a fan poured popcorn on Westbrook as he left the floor due to an injury.
“To be completely honest, this shi*t is getting out of hand, especially for me,” Westbrook said after the incident. “The amount of disrespect, the amount of fans just doing whatever the f*ck they want to do — it’s just out of pocket. There are certain things that cross the line. Any other setting … a guy were to come up on the street and pour popcorn on my head, you know what happens.
“In these arenas, you got to start protecting the players. We’ll see what the NBA does.”
As far as George, being loathed in Arizona is a unique thing since he has no ties to Arizona – unless we’re talking about bettors being upset about the Clippers’ playoff failure last year.