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Reigning NBA MVP James Harden is being investigated after an altercation outside a Scottsdale, Arizona, nightclub, police confirmed to The Arizona Republic. TMZ Sports first reported the alleged incident.
According to TMZ Sports, a woman filed a police report claiming she was filming a fight between a member of Harden’s entourage and a third party outside The Mint nightclub around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Harden allegedly grabbed the woman’s wrist and threw her phone on the roof, hoping to avoid grainy footage of the alleged incident finding its way to a celebrity gossip website.
The woman reportedly told police that she accepted $500 from Harden and his associates. She visited a hospital to treat her wrist, according to TMZ Sports. She also recovered her phone from the roof and shared the footage with the online publication. Harden’s face is difficult to decipher on camera.
It is “far too early in the investigation” to determine any role Harden may have played in the incident, and the Arizona State University product was not initially considered a suspect, according to reports.
James Harden’s history with nightclub fights
This is not the first time Harden’s name has surfaced in relation to a nightclub fight. Moses Malone Jr., the eldest son of the late Pro Basketball Hall of Famer, accused Harden of orchestrating an aggravated robbery outside the now-defunct V Live Houston strip club in June 2016. Malone sued Harden, alleging the Rockets guard paid a bouncer at the club $20,000 to retaliate for Malone’s critical Facebook post.
The bouncer, Darian Blount, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in the alleged incident.
Police never linked Harden to the assault.
James Harden’s history with smacking phones
Harden is also no stranger to getting upset about unwanted video footage. At halftime of a loss to the Utah Jazz in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals this past May, Harden took issue with a heckler on his way into the locker room, and then smacked the heckler’s phone on his way out.
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