‘Can’t Be Mad’: Former Nets Forward on How James Harden Should Respond to NBA’s Latest Rule Change

Published 10/28/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
Oct 22, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) reacts after an apparently being struck in the face during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA’s most recent rule change regarding the usage of ‘non-basketball moves’ on the court has stirred a lot of controversies. Especially regarding a developing bias of officials against a few players who arguably used these moves more often until last season. Among them, the prominent names include James Harden, Luka Doncic, Trae Young.

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While his role change could be a contributing factor, several experts feel Harden has so far gotten the worst of this rule change. This is what former NBA star James “Jim” Jackson feels about how players should adjust their approach to the game.

 

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Former NBA star on how James Harden needs to adjust his game

According to famous podcast host Dan Patrick. Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash feels Harden has become the “poster-boy” of this rule change. He further feels that while Harden is actually getting fouled, just because the officials are “hyperaware” of him, he does not get those fouls called. While appearing on the Dan Patrick Show, former NBA star Jim Jackson said this about James Harden.

He said, “…for years James has been able to get away. Steph, he’s not shooting the same amount of free throws. I don’t think Luka or Trey Young this year right now shooting the same amount of free throws. Because they got to make an adjustment. The rules were one way, as a pro you make the adjustment.”

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Oct 27, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) drives the ball around Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Further, he said, “And I do believe that the players that are accustomed to getting to the line drawing those fouls. Once they play more games and figure out how the officials are calling it, will be able to make the adjustments. You can’t be mad now because for so long you’ve been getting away with a lot of stuff but not getting a lot of fouls that probably weren’t fouls. So the tendency is to complain about it a little bit. But pros will be pros and they’ll figure it out.” 

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So Jackson compared this rule change to the time when the NBA last changed its rules about ‘hand-checking’. He explained how the greats need to adapt to the dynamic nature of the league. Therefore, he concluded players like Harden need to adjust their game in order to prove their greatness.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

373 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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