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James Harden has bad games in Utah because ... EXCEPTIONAL SLC STRIP CLUBS???


NBA: Playoffs-Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

A redditor on the Houston Rockets subreddit pulled the big data on the question every NBA fan has been asking ... how does a local NBA city’s strip club affect James Harden’s on the court performance? The results? Well ... color all of us at this website REALLY surprised. According to AngryCentrist on reddit, the top 5 cities that cause James Harden the most difficulty due to their highly rated Strip Clubs are Miami, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. If you took a double take at Salt Lake City, you’re not alone.

AngryCentrist had a simple hypothesis, “James Harden’s box score declines in cities with high quality strip clubs.” And if this chart is any indication ... he isn’t wrong.

Evidently among NBA cities, the cities with the highest rated Strip Clubs on Google Reviews are as follows:

1. Miami

2. Chicago

3. Salt Lake City

4. Los Angeles

5. New Orleans


I mean, just check out these Google Reviews. They’re well liked.

Among those top three cities, the Utah Jazz had enjoyed a sub-par game from James Harden more than anyone else. A whopping 18 times. While Rudy Gobert can guard the paint, no one can wreak havoc more on Harden’s FG% more than the fine upstanding employees at Salt Lake’s finest adult establishments.

The Utah Jazz taking top three honors here.

Here’s the actual data:

The real Wasatch Front defense may not be on a Utah Jazz contract.

AngryCentrist says this is how he gathered his data:


First I extracted all of James Harden’s game logs for the past 4 seasons from ProBasketballReference, 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. I identified 2 categories of poor performances:

Sub-Par - Harden performed WORSE than season average, and

Very Sub-Par - Harden performed 20%+ WORSE than season average.

I analyzed his poor performances across each of the NBA’s 28 different cities (did not look at home games so no Houston, there are 2 teams in LA, and I distinguished between Brooklyn and NYC = 28 cities).

City Strip Club Rating was determined by the average google review rating for the first 10 strip clubs in each city based on the google search “[CITY] Strip Clubs” (e.g., “Detroit Strip clubs”). Yes, this did involve me making like 30+ searches for strip clubs on my work cpu...

Finally, I put the City Strip Club Rating into the pivoted game log data, performed a regression analysis and visualized it into charts.

You can see all of the data for yourself in it’s beautiful excel format here.

Yes, we could get into the argument of causation vs correlation, but today, the city of Salt Lake can enjoy an amazing victory. Salt Lake City DOES indeed have #Nightlife. TAKE THAT FOR DATA.

[Editor’s Update: The original reddit thread was brought to the writer’s attention by JP Patterson. Why this confluence of topics—nationwide strip clubs and James Harden’s shooting percentage—was so high on his radar to begin with is beyond this editor’s comprehension. What is within this editor’s comprehension is the insistent text message he has received from JP all morning insisting JP receive attribution for his discovering said reddit post in record time—one hour within the redditor’s posting of it. So thus, the editor gives JP a hat tip for the quick work in finding said article with such great speed and agility.]