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2017 NBA Playoffs

Lil B opens up about why The Based God has cursed James Harden

And while he would ‘cook’ with Harden, the Bay Area influencer thinks the real MVP is Warrior Klay Thompson

All Bay Area rapper Lil B wants is some credit. But Houston Rockets superstar James Harden won’t give it to him. For the past few years, Harden has been celebrating big plays, wins and his current MVP-worthy season with the enchanting cooking dance — the same one Lil B takes pride in as his creation (though Bun B begs to differ).

An author, motivational speaker and avid sports fan, Lil B has developed a massive band of supporters over the years (he has 1.37 million Twitter followers and follows everyone back). Many people, even in the celebrity community, reach out to him on Twitter for answers to life’s questions and blessings for their sports teams. But to nonbelievers, curses are issued. Harden is one of those.

In July 2010, Lil B and Soulja Boy dropped the track “Cooking Dance” on their joint mixtape Pretty Boy Millionaires, along with a video tutorial of the dance on his YouTube page. Five years later, Harden brought the cooking celebration to the 2015 NBA playoffs. Lil B’s fans quickly took notice and informed the rapper via social media. A kind of warning ensued.

Yet Harden kept doing the dance without explaining where or from whom he got it. To be honest, in the midst of a playoff run, he had no obligation to fulfill the bizarre request. But on May 24, 2015, during the Western Conference finals between the Rockets and Golden State Warriors, The Based God’s Curse was officially placed on him. “He’s cursed for the rest of the playoffs and further notice until he speaks on what dance celebration he’s doing and where it comes from,” Lil B told TMZ. The Rockets dropped the series to the eventual NBA champions, 4-1.

Fast-forward to the first round of this year’s playoffs, and Lil B took to Twitter to hint at the status of Harden’s curse.

With the Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals and Harden chasing his first MVP award, The Undefeated caught up with Lil B. The curse is still on, he confirmed. And there’s only one way for it to be lifted.

What sparked your beef with Harden?

It all started when I seen James Harden doing the Lil B cooking dance sports celebration on live TV. First, I wanted to just make sure that he knew what he was doing, ’cause I know he got it from me. I wanted to just make sure that he knew who the creator of this dance that he was doing was. He just refused to acknowledge me.

Actively, right now, James Harden is the only player in the NBA that’s cursed. Kevin Durant is not cursed. D’Angelo Russell is not cursed either.How would you evaluate Harden’s version of the cooking dance? Do you think he does it well?

He is trying his best, and I think he’s doing a good job. I like it, you know. I think it’s cool. It’s a fun thing he’s doing. It’s just about James Harden being a true leader and acknowledging the creator.

Originally The Based God seemed to be protecting Harden, but eventually a curse was put on him. What changed?

Him not acknowledging Lil B and just continuously taunting and acting like he knows about nothing. I know James Harden does know me. … Actively, right now, James Harden is the only player in the NBA that’s cursed. Kevin Durant is not cursed, and the gentleman that’s on the Lakers, the leading point guard, D’Angelo Russell, is not cursed either.

In June 2015, TMZ asked Harden about the dispute. “I don’t even know what happened … I don’t know who that is,” Harden responded.

What was the exact turning point that swayed The Based God to curse Harden?

People … started reporting on it and … he actually proceeded to say he doesn’t know who Lil B is — which is, you know, very standoffish about the situation. That’s when the curse had to come about. It wasn’t right what he was doing. Him being a team leader, he should show a little bit more poise and depth in understanding of the creators of something. Especially a sports celebration. There’s a lot of people in the NBA who know about Lil B and know where it started. So why not James Harden?

This Harden guy is strong. He’s fighting through the curse, but this will affect his MVP chances.

The Based God also once placed a curse on Kevin Durant. Which one was worse — KD’s or James Harden’s?

All the curses are significant, and they have their own legacy as well as reasoning why these folks are cursed. I appreciated Kevin Durant after he came to the Warriors, and that ended his curse. And, might I say, he’s doing wonderful over here. And I do project the Warriors taking it home this year. I listen to The Based God, and The Based God makes the final decision on the curses. I never wanna see somebody cursed. That’s always last resort.

What will it take for Harden’s curse to be lifted?

Just acknowledge Lil B. Acknowledge the Lil B cooking dance sports celebration, and that’s all you have to do. He understands that. I know he’s busy with the season, and I know he’s in the playoffs right now currently and doing pretty well. But there’s some things that just need to be explained and acknowledged, and he’s free to go after that — and I’ll be rooting for him. Until then, there’s some questions that need to be answered.

Lil B attended Game 5 of the 2015 Western Conference finals between the Rockets and Warriors at Oracle Arena. While her was sitting in the crowd, the camera caught him doing the cooking dance. That night, Harden posted an NBA playoff record 13 turnovers, which Lil B tweeted was a result of The Based God’s curse.

Are you hoping the Rockets face the Warriors in the Western Conference finals?

I definitely am. I think it’ll be very interesting. I was there in 2015 when the Warriors played the Rockets in the playoffs. The Rockets seen me. The team acknowledged me. They were happy to see me. Some were surprised. I would love to see the Warriors and the Rockets play again. Hopefully, Harden can acknowledge me before then and acknowledge the Lil B cooking dance sports celebration before then. That would be grand. If not, we’ll just have to see what The Based God thinks about that.

I think it’s a fun thing that he’s doing, and I personally do like it. It’s just about James Harden being a true leader and acknowledging the creator.

Would you do the cooking dance with James Harden?

That can maybe happen. I don’t see anything in the way of that. … That’s possible if the right people set it up, from the right powers that be.

Will the curse affect Harden’s chances of being named MVP?

Yes … yes, it will. He’s fighting through the curse. I mean, this Harden guy is strong. He’s strong. He’s fighting through the curse, but this will affect his MVP chances. Once again, nothing negative wished upon Harden. Nothing negative. I appreciate James Harden. I think he’s a wonderful player — one of the best.

Who is your pick for MVP?

It’s sad to see my guy from the Thunder leave the playoffs. I would have to say this year’s MVP … I’m giving it to Klay Thompson.

Is that Lil B’s pick or The Based God’s pick?

This is Lil B’s pick. The Based God would probably have something totally different and more statistic-related. But Lil B’s pick, I’m going for Klay Thompson because I think he’s a big backbone for the Warriors.

Aaron Dodson is a sports and culture writer at Andscape. He primarily writes on sneakers/apparel and hosts the platform’s Sneaker Box video series. During Michael Jordan’s two seasons playing for the Washington Wizards in the early 2000s, the “Flint” Air Jordan 9s sparked his passion for kicks.