James Harden, dating, Ashanti, new, NBA, hot
Ashanti. Getty Images

James Harden is trying to shed the label of a regular season wonder in the NBA playoffs right now, but that doesn’t mean his entire focus needs to be on basketball.

 

Harden is said to now be dating singer Ashanti, who no longer is just remembered for singing hooks on Ja Rule songs back in ‘03. Ashanti caught the attention of plenty of people (including Harden, apparently) when she came out of a swimming pool in a bikini ripped to shreds in a recent Ciroc French Vanilla commercial.

 

Harden and Ashanti are no strangers to high-profile relationships as Harden used to date Khloe Kardashian and Ashanti used to be involved with Nelly.  

 

 

 

Baker, the bust?

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: “I know it’s the Browns, but they had a helluva draft!”

This was something uttered by nearly every NFL Draft expert this past weekend, all of whom have apparently missed the past 20 years of football in Cleveland.

Plenty of teams that have had NFL success (including the Patriots, who had OC Josh McDaniels at Mayfield’s house a week ago) really like Mayfield, but the overcoming the culture in Cleveland is going to beyond difficult for Heisman Trophy winner. The word on the street is that head coach Hue Jackson wasn’t involved in the choosing of Mayfield, and that he is hell-bent on having Tyrod Taylor start every game this season.

Meanwhile, there’s a legit worry in Cleveland that Mayfield won’t be happy as a backup.

The first time Taylor has a bad game (and it will happen before September is over), look out. It’s going to get messy, yet again, in The Land.

 

The latest on LeBron to Philly

The Sixers may be embroiled in the NBA Playoffs, but the LeBron James to Philly talk won’t let up. SLAM reported three days ago that “The Sixers are said to have growing behind-the-scenes confidence” that LeBron will land in Philly this summer as a free agent.

Former Sixers great and NBA on TNT analyst Charles Barkley pumped the brakes on that Monday, however, telling 97.5 The Fanatic that there is a zero percent chance LeBron chooses Philly in July.

“LeBron won’t fit with the Sixers because he’d take the ball out of Ben [Simmons’] hands,” Barkley said. “[LeBron] is not coming in any form, shape or capacity … LeBron needs shooters. Ben’s not a shooter, and [LeBron] dominates the ball way too. He’s not coming to Philly for sure.”

 

NFL Draft trash talk

The NFL catches plenty of flak for when an idea doesn’t work (Thursday Night Football, color rush uniforms, their rules on what constitutes as a catch), so let’s give some credit where credit is due.

Their idea to have the Draft in a different city each spring is tremendous. Philly was an outstanding host last year, and Dallas was all sorts of entertaining.

Commissioner Roger Goodell attempted to shield himself from boos by having Cowboys legends Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and Jason Witten accompany him to the stage – but it did not work in the least. And then the highlight of the draft was when former Eagles kicker David Akers trolled the hell out of Dallas fans. The NFL has allowed former players to announce certain teams’ picks in recent years, and Akers did a phenomenal job with his mic time.

“What’s up Dallas!?,” Akers shouted into the microphone as Cowboys fans showered him with boos. “We heard you in Philly last year! The [Eagles] are WORLD CHAMPS! Hey Dallas, the last time you were in the Super Bowl, these draft picks weren’t born!”

That’s just good, clean fun.