There are some basketball players who manage to go as hard on the court as they are off of it. While it's difficult for anyone to really give Dennis Rodman a run for his money in that regard — I mean, the man skipped an NBA Finals practice to go and appear on WCW — there are plenty of stories about players who enjoy living it up. James Harden is one of them, and his relationship with rapper Lil Baby is a testament to that.
James Harden and Lil Baby's business relationship explained:
During mandatory workouts while he was on the Houston Rockets in late 2020, James Harden reportedly headed out to a birthday party that was being thrown for Lil Baby in Atlanta. At the event, Harden handed the guy $100,000 in cash along with a $200,000 Richard Mille watch and a Prada bag filled with honey buns. This occurred toward the end of Harden's tenure with the Rockets; the star reportedly wanted to be traded and he would later land on the Brooklyn Nets roster, alongside Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Mike James, and Blake Griffin.
What many fans don't know about Lil Baby and James Harden is that the basketball great helped to produce Lil Baby and Lil Durk's record "Voice of the Heroes" after Harden built a record studio in his Houston home. The two men don't just play together, they work together too. Harden's also produced tracks for Drake and Young Thug.
Harden and Lil Baby recently also made headlines when they were seen attending an all-white Fourth of July party, where Lil Uzi Vert bust out a crazy breakdancing move on the floor. In videos uploaded online, Harden could be seen tickle-fighting Philly rapper Meek Mill, and later in the evening Lil Baby took to the stage to perform.
Shortly after the party, however, James Harden and Lil Baby made headlines after the rapper was reportedly arrested.
TMZ reports that recently while in Paris together, Harden and Lil Baby were stopped by police. The reason? Baby was in possession of weed. In a video uploaded to social media, Harden can be heard saying that he doesn't understand what's happening as he is being patted down by authorities.
In another photo acquired by the outlet, an officer can be seen holding a vaping device which reportedly contained THC. Harden was ultimately let go, while Lil Baby and two others in their group were handcuffed and arrested. The group had 20 grams of marijuana in their possession according to local reports; they were visiting the city for Paris Fashion Week.
The two are often seen hanging out together in a variety of functions, whether it's parties, heading to Paris Fashion Week, or staring dumbfounded at Kanye West wearing a mask, and there are tons of memes about their friendship.
When they arrived in Paris they were mobbed by the press, with photographers and bystanders shouting, "Lil Baby, we love you!"
Some even attributed Harden and Lil Baby's trip to Paris Fashion Week as the reason why Harden isn't representing the US in basketball at the Olympic Games.
Harden is a polarizing figure in the league with an intriguing story: His father was incarcerated at a young age and his mother enrolled him in basketball classes as a positive motivating factor in his life. Harden took his opportunity and ran with it, becoming arguably the best standalone player in the league. The star secured a 10-year, $200 million Adidas sneaker contract, and even has several Trolli branded candies created with his and his sneaker's likeness.
The baller was actually enlisted into the strip club hall of fame and dropped over $1 million when he decided to drop 100s all night for about three hours straight. This was at the Dreams, Harden's favorite place to party while he was in Houston, and ownership hung up a jersey and a banner honoring the basketball star.