James Harden just learned a very important lesson here, and that is that you can lie to yourself but you can't lie to your homies. Well, not without them removing the filter and calling you out in front of a crowd of people anyway. There's no doubt in my mind that the dude that just proclaimed that he and Harden were "boy scouts" after addressing him by his first name grew up together. That wasn't the trash talk of a random fan. It was the trash talk of someone whose been on the ass end of far too many ticky-tacky calls at the hands of James Harden's endless bag of embellishment tricks. Probably fouled out of at least a handful of high school basketball games in which he was responsible for sticking to 'The Beard' like excess cookie crumbs.
James Harden can tell himself that flopping is only something that happens when there is a complete lack of contact, but he should know better than to think he's going to get away with telling that to someone that probably knows his game better than he does. I've called my brother out for lying about how much he drank just enough to know that you can justify your constant use of exaggeration to yourself as much as you want, but don't think it's going to fly when someone close to you catches you doing it. Especially when that person happens to be a loud mouth and your rationalization happens to be rooted in some parallel reality where it's okay to react to an innocent brush of the shoulder like it's a gunshot wound to your chest.