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‘Food Is Phenomenal But…’: Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson’s Leaves $1,300 Tip with a Playful Jab at the Restaurant’s NBA Superstar Owner

Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson challenged Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden to a FIFA match on May 30 after the former NFL wide receiver generously tipped Harden’s staff $1,300 following his visit at Harden’s Thirteen restaurant in Houston, Texas. FIFA is the EA Sports soccer video game series that is based on the teams and players in the eponymous world soccer organization.. 

Johnson initially shared the receipt with the caption “James Harden is scared to play me in FIFA!!” in a tweet that read “Proverbs 11:25 (James Harden edition) @thirteenhou.” 

Chad Johnson (L) visits James Harden’s (R) Houston restaurant. Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images. Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Harden, who opened up his Houston steakhouse and hookah lounge back in March, replied to Johnson’s taunt on his now-expired Instagram Story, “@OCHOCINCO really tipped my staff at my restaurant $1,300. That’s love bro!!” The Nets player added more fuel to the fire by telling Johnson that despite what he initially tweeted, the former Cincinnati Bengals star is scared to play against him. Harden claims that Johnson has been running from this particular match for “years.” “And we can line the FIFA up any day. You’ve been running for some years now.”

Johnson got wind of Harden’s response a day later from a tweet by CNBC sports business reporter Jarabi Young, who asked him if Harden’s restaurant was “good” while posting Harden’s Instagram Story.  

“Dope of @ochocinco to leave a great tip ($1,300 on a $107.17 bill) with a solid message at James Harden’s restaurant in Houston… (I didn’t know James had a spot there… is it good????) Anyways…Now looking forward to their FIFA match #Nets #NBA #NFL #Rockets #SportsBiz.”

The 43-year-old replied by leaving a rave review while also reiterating his previous statements. “Food is phenomenal but Harden has been scared to play me in FIFA the past 7 years, no hat.” 

Since then, Harden has yet to respond to Johnson’s latest gibes because he is currently playing in the first round of the NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics.

This isn’t the first time Johnson has shown his generosity toward servers. Last December, he tipped a similar amount at his favorite Cuban restaurant because the father of seven felt he was an inconvenience going into the establishment near closing time. Because the restaurant’s kitchen closed at 10 p.m., Johnson revealed on Twitter that he would bless the server $100 for every minute he was in the vicinity past that time. 

He said, “Headed to my Cuban spot for dinner, I’m being somewhat of an inconvenience for the kitchen & staff being that they close at 10 pm, but I will be sure to bless l my server $100 for every minute after 10 p.m. for the trouble.” 

Johnson also disclosed in another tweet that the total of his bill without the $1300 tip was only $2.12. The tweet was captioned “Proverbs 11:25,” invoking the biblical verse that reads “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” The former NFL player showed the additional message he left on the receipt for the staff members, which said, “Sorry for keeping you at work 13 minutes after closing. I love you.” 

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