Houston Rockets guard James Harden has prompted a number of debates about whether some of his shot selections and dribbles should not count due to traveling. Harden’s Rockets took on the Shanghai Sharks Tuesday night, and the guard made a spectacular move. One that has people debating if it was a traveling violation or not.
However, the NBA is defending Harden’s shot. And they’re even going so far as to say that it’s 100 percent legal.
Much of the confusion comes from modern NBA players’ ability to dribble the ball quickly between their legs while shuffling their feet. The move in question can be described as Harden dribbling the ball between his legs back and forth while shifting the ball from his left hand to his right. Then, short-hopping to the right before releasing the ball.
Here’s what the NBA has to say about it. Officially.
This is a legal play. Although James puts the ball behind his back, he only takes two steps after the gather of the ball and therefore it is NOT a travel. https://t.co/i1hU3b4zuQ
— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) October 10, 2018
So that’s that, right? Well, you be the judge. Did Harden travel on this play? Debates are going to rage on anyway.
James Harden was unstoppable and pulled out a fancy new dribble move. #NBAPreseason
9⃣ three-pointers pic.twitter.com/brjPAQPaeP
— NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) October 10, 2018
Last season, the Rockets came within one game of the NBA Finals. After pushing the Golden State Warriors to the limit, they would fall in seven in the Western Conference Finals. Then Golden State went out and brought in center DeMarcus Cousins. Houston, meanwhile, picked up Carmelo Anthony.
Harden claimed MVP honors, leading the league in scoring (30.4 PPG) while averaging 8.8 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals across 72 games. We don’t know if he’s going to help get the Rockets to the Finals this season, but one thing is certain.
These moves aren’t going anywhere — whether you like it or not.