David Flores says he was “trying to interview Harden outside a lounge in Hollywood” at 2 a.m. in May last year. When he asked the 6-foot-5-inch point guard a question, Harden “angrily smacked (him) on the hand while he was holding a camera and broke plaintiff’s finger,” Flores claims.
The 6-page lawsuit gives almost no information about Flores except that he is a resident of Los Angeles County. His attorney, Michael P. Sullivan, with William W. Green & Associates in Newport Beach, did not respond to phone calls or an email.
Flores claims that his broken finger caused him pain and mental anguish and kept him from working for several weeks. He says he may be permanently disabled.
A David Flores is a sports writer and commentator for San Antonio TV station KENS, and has covered Harden in the past, according to the station’s website. A representative of KENS said Flores is not on staff but works from home and reports remotely. That David Flores did not respond to an email over the weekend.
Harden’s attorney, Rusty Hardin of Houston, said he has not yet identified the plaintiff.
In an interview Sunday, Hardin called the lawsuit silly, and typical of the minor claims people file against rich celebrities.
“When I see someone claim extreme mental anguish and permanent disability from a broken finger, it’s hard to take it seriously,” Hardin said.
Houston Rockets superstar Haden is a native of Southern California who has become one of the top NBA players. Known as “The Beard” for his full, bushy beard, he is one of the NBA’s most versatile and effective scorers.
He signed a 4-year contract extension this month that reportedly will earn him $228 million through the 2022-23 season.
In an interview in February, he agreed with a Time Magazine interviewer’s question that he is “the best player in the world right now.”
In May, Harden was added to a lawsuit filed by the son of basketball great Moses Malone. Malone Jr. claims Harden orchestrated an armed attack and robbery in retaliation for a critical Facebook post.
Media representatives of the Rockets could not be reached over the weekend.
Flores seeks lost earnings and punitive damages for negligence, assault, battery and emotional distress.