The NBA has never been a sport labeled “soft”. While it is a non-contact sport, any one who has played at a high enough level can appreciate the bruises and batterings you take on the hardwood. Not to mention the humiliation and mental scars that come with being dunked on, crossed over, torched for 40 points or just fucking up in general. This is all part of the spectacle that is professional basketball. But every so often a player needs to be towed in line for failing to meet the code of manliness that is expected in a sport played by big men. Every so often, a player needs to be told to Harden The Fuck Up.

A true man should not back down from anyone or anything. A true man should show no weakness or cowardice on the court. He should not be carried off  when he breaks a nail, or when his finger jams, or when his knee pops. A man should only be carried off if the very legs he walks on are sliced off at the knees, and even then, he should resist all assistance, fist-fighting the trainers with one hand while dragging his bloodied body off the court with the other. A true man does not miss games because of flu-like symptoms or cramps or vomiting or broken ribs. True men, like Luke Hodge, brake their ribs and then proceed to physically and mentally dominate the opposition to the point where you might think they broke their ribs intentionally to appear more heroic. But true men do not concern themselves with heroics. True men just Harden The Fuck Up and get on with the job.

Here in Australia we don’t appreciate wusses. We don’t tolerate unmanliness. Especially in sports. Our sporting heroes are icons of toughness, like a rhino or a semi-trailer. Our sports stars wrestle crocodiles for fun. Even our best actors like to beat the shit out of people. This doesn’t mean we’re violent. It just means that if it comes to proving our manliness, we will fight you. But we are not your everyday Australians. We are the HTFU Police Force.

It is the duty of this HTFU Police Force to ensure ballers throughout the NBA are living up to these standards. It is our duty to track down the unmanly men that walk among us and bring them to justice. For these athletes owe it to the fans just as much as to themselves, to Harden The Fuck Up.

Still not quite sure what we mean? Here, let Chopper help you.

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NBAMate has for a long time been tracking the unlawfully soft behavior of NBA players and coaches. They were on the case when Paul Pierce cried himself off the court in the playoffs, when Rodney Stuckey felt a bit dizzy, when Coach Mike Brown injured himself by picking up a ball, when Glen Davis cried his big butt off, and when Detroit had seemingly turned to marshmallow. Well now the HTFU Police are taking over the reigns and our trained eyes will be watchfully watching over the entire league, watching for the slightest signs of softness. No one is immune from the HTFU Police, starting from now.

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Yesterday while playing against the Atlanta Hawks, Matt Harping copped a hard foul from Josh Smith and had a bit of a cry. Harpring said he reacted the way he always has when knocked down. “That was one of those that hurt,” he told reporters after the game. “Every time I get knocked down like that a voice goes off in my head, ‘Get up.’”

Wow. I don’t know what to say. Except maybe next time the voice inside your head should tell you to HARDEN THE FUCK UP. We know you’re a flopper Matt. This is just one event amongst a pattern of soft and unmanly behavior throughout your career. What exactly did the “voice in your head’ tell you when you got “knocked down” against the Kings and tried to get Corliss Williamson to ride you like Seabiscuit?

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Or the time Dirk’s forearm shiver almost sent you crashing into the stadium wall. What was the little voice in your head saying that time Matt Harpring?

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Being soft is one thing. Getting another player ejected due to your softness is on another level.

Matt Harpring, you have been warned. Harden The Fuck Up.

Spotted any HTFU crimes? Email the HTFU Police and help the league keep it real.


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