This Video Might Make You Lose All Your Respect For James Harden (Or Gain)

Published 10/10/2021, 12:00 PM EDT


James Harden has been infamous in the league for his foul drawing tactics that help stack up the stat board. Ever since the league has limited ‘non-basketball moves’ they have granted the referees some special powers. These powers allow the referees the discretion to decide whether players initiate contact using a move they wouldn’t do in the normal course of the game.

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The Houston Rockets fans, for most of his career, enjoyed this eerie ability to draw fouls. However, the NBA community saw it as an unfair means of reaching the free-throw line. And while the league has now changed the rules to subdue this problem, let’s take a look at how Harden exploited and abused the rules of the NBA.

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Some bizarre James Harden statistics

In the 2000-2001 season, the total number of three-point shooting fouls in the league was 196. Last season, the total number of three-point shooting fouls in the league was 1091. In his entire career, James Harden has drawn 521 three-point fouls. And except the last year, where he was injured for most of the season, he led the league in three-point fouls drawn in the past five seasons before that.

He drew almost as many three-point fouls in one season with the Houston Rockets as Kobe Bryant did in his entire career. In the five consecutive seasons where he led the league in three-point fouls drawn, he had 407 three-point shooting fouls. He scored 1181 points because of those. Which account for almost a whopping 10% of his points in those seasons.

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Last season, after his trade to the Nets, he could not draw as many fouls beyond the three-point line because he was injured. However, with the new rule, will Harden be able to put up these numbers again?

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Feb 27, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) takes a three point shot in the first quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

What does this mean for the Brooklyn Nets?

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James Harden’s foul drawing numbers at the three-point are mainly because of his signature step-back move. While the move is not illegal, the changed defending rules, in the absence of detailed rules of offense gave Harden a lot of scope to abuse the rules of the NBA. Not a lot of Harden’s foul drawing came from contact initiated from a non-basketball move while using this move.

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So, if Harden is consistent in this move next season, what’s to stop him from repeating these exceptional numbers?

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

248 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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