Houston Rockets star James Harden has been the subject of an amazing Reddit investigation: to decipher the link between the quality of a city’s strip clubs and his performance in away games.
‘The Beard’ has been known to frequent the Canadian ballet here and there – up in the rafters inside of the Dreams Houston club, there’s even a banner dedicated to the NBA player.
Following a ‘dismal performance in Miami last week’, Reddit user AngryCentrist devised a plan to find out just how much the player’s off-court pleasure affects his game.
In 2017, on an episode of The Joe Budden Podcast, it was revealed the player had a banner in the club as he’d been going there to spend ‘a lot of money’. We all need our ways to unwind, but just how much can a strip club affect one’s performance out on the hardwood?
As per the Reddit post, AngryCentrist started with a hypothesis: ‘James Harden’s box score declines in cities with high quality strip clubs.’
To establish a link, the investigation would ‘analyse James Harden’s performance in every NBA city and correlate with those cities’ reputation for stip clubs to see if there is any discernible relationship’.
As for AngryCentrist’s methodology, the Redditor took the following steps:
First I extracted all of James Harden’s game logs for the past four seasons from Basketball Reference, cleaned up the data a bit (a bunch), and appended it into a single worksheet.
Next, I filtered out all Home games and all games Harden was inactive or DNP. For the purpose of this analysis we did not look at home games.
Poor Performances were determined by variances in 6 stats: Points, FG%, 3PT%, FT%, Assists and Turnovers. For each of these stats I compared Harden’s overall season average to the city-specific season average.
As you can see, this isn’t half-arsed curiosity – there’s genuine graft in the Redditor’s workings. Excluding home games, they analysed his performances across the NBA’s 28 different cities.
For the strip clubs, their rating ‘was determined by the average google review rating for the first 10 strip clubs in each city’. The user humourously added this meant making more than 30 searches for America’s strip clubs on his work computer.
After cross-referencing the data in charts, the user came to a groundbreaking conclusion: ‘I have proven, to a statistically significant degree, that James Harden’s game performance declines in cities with higher rated strip clubs.’
The Redditor added Harden’s ‘box score is 20% predictable based on the quality of a city’s strip clubs’.
Of the compiled data and games, Harden’s best performance comes in Toronto, the city with the worst strip clubs. At the other end of the spectrum, the player has his worst performances in the city with the best clubs: Miami.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.