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James Harden appreciation night at ASU doesn't include James Harden

The Arizona State Sun Devils decided that Wednesday would be James Harden appreciation night, but it went pretty badly.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Update: Saturday is Senior Night and Neon Night as ASU faces Washington, which reminds us of either a high school spirit day or a rave, which in retrospect pretty much describes Arizona State.

Arizona State is the rival, but as an objective basketball fan, I won't be a fool and say that James Harden isn't an incredible basketball player. Truly, I enjoy watching him, and believe me when I say he's a great talent.

The Sun Devils appreciate it, too. So much so that they created a James Harden appreciation night on Wednesday as they faced the Washington State Cougars. A few problems with this:

For one, James Harden was not invited to James Harden appreciation night. I know this because the smart folks at ASU probably could have first looked at the Houston Rockets' schedule to determine when he'd be available to join them for his own evening of festivities. The Rockets had a date with Harden's former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, on Wednesday.

Secondly, the student section decided it'd be a good idea to remain silent until the Sun Devils scored their 13th point of the game.


Of course, this backfired terribly. A slow start saw Wazzou take a 14-11 lead with 10:39 left in the first half.

All this silent appreciation of James Harden went on as Harden appreciated his own talents by scoring 46 points on 14-of-19 shooting to go with six assists and eight rebounds in a 122-119 victory against his former team.

It was not immediately clear why ASU chose Feb. 20 as James Harden appreciation night. A quick glance at his collegiate profile and his Wikipedia page show no historic performance by Harden on any prior Feb. 20. Also, it was not his birthday.

I suppose it is illogical for me to search for logic in anything an ASU student section would do.

Even ASU's sports information official, Doug Tammaro, did not understand why the Sun Devil student section would make such a move.