While we'll have to wait for the day that James Harden's No. 13 jersey gets retired and forever enshrined from the rafters at the Toyota Center — if that does eventually happen, considering the nasty breakup between Harden and the Houston Rockets — it's already reportedly hanging somewhere else.
That's right — the Beard's affinity for strip clubs is second only to his affinity for making defenders look foolish and scoring points in bunches, and they recognize his patronage. And as Harden departs from Houston, the city in which he's spent the past eight years and eight games of his career, former Rockets guard Vernon Maxwell, who won two titles with the organization, thinks he should recognize the strip clubs as well.
I don't know if the Houston Observer typically places ads for local strip clubs, such as Polekatz Houston Gentleman's Club (that's what Google told me a good one was), but maybe a page devoted to Harden's heartfelt goodbye could serve as a nice inadvertent promotion for the fine establishments around Houston.
The good news, on the other hand, is that Harden is now a part of the Eastern Conference, meaning he'll play against the Toronto Raptors with more regularity. Why is that good news? Because Reddit user AngryCentrist found that Harden's performance declines in cities with higher-rated strip clubs — "to a statistically significant degree" — and Toronto has the worst strip clubs according to the rock-solid study. As for Brooklyn, some sharp entrepreneurial minds might want to think about starting up an adult lounge sometime soon.
We don't know if Maxwell frequented strip clubs like Harden did, but the two do have some stuff in common. There are only two players in franchise history that have hit 700 three pointers and recorded 6,000 points in a Rockets uniform, and you guessed 'em both: James Harden and Vernon Maxwell.