Harden finished the game with just 11 points, taking only two shots in the second half. As a result, Bayless ripped Harden for not showing up during Philly’s elimination game, while praising the man he was traded for: Ben Simmons.
“James Harden typically no-showed in the second half of this closeout game,” Bayelss wrote. “Now he’s mostly just another Jim Harden. Ben Simmons eventually will make this trade look so phoolish for Philly.”
Simmons then liked Bayless’ tweet. The Brooklyn Nets guard was the scapegoat for Philly’s season-ending loss last year, which saw Simmons pass up a wide open dunk in Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks.
Simmons’ lackluster performance last spring ultimately led to him being traded to Brooklyn for Harden in February. The polarizing guard, who is now recovering from surgery on his back, also didn’t play this season due to mental health reasons. He initially requested a trade in the offseason, and was suspended for one game in October after being thrown out of practice by Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers.
Only time will tell which team won the Harden-Simmons trade, as both Philly and Brooklyn will be watching the conference finals from home after suffering early playoff exits.