Another one of James Harden’s step-back jumpers is at the center of controversy today on #NBATwitter.
In Tuesday night’s blowout of the Shanghai Sharks, James Harden pulled off a devastating crossover on his defender- a behind-the-back step-back jumper for a three-pointer.
9 THREES for Harden (37 PTS)! 24 3PM for the @HoustonRockets! #NBAPreseason pic.twitter.com/qI7x6XfcT2— NBA (@NBA) October 10, 2018
The move was creative and beautiful, and it should have been appreciated. Of course, that’s not the way that Twitter works, is it?
if this isnt a travel he’s winning MVP again pic.twitter.com/hWBfSrHpgh— Wobciferous (@World_Wide_Wob) October 10, 2018
Do you think this move by Harden is a travel? pic.twitter.com/g1yZ7ooUEk— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 10, 2018
Did Harden travel? pic.twitter.com/lvDULxmETi— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 10, 2018
A lot of people, not just big sports entities, stirred up controversy about it being a travel. While many agreed that it was a travel, it seemed that just as many people agreed that it wasn’t.
Personally, this doesn’t look like a travel. There’s clear evidence of a gather, and then he takes two steps into the jumper. That’s a classic step-back jumper, but it’s just executed differently.
The good news is that you don’t have to take my word for it. The official NBA Official Twitter account clarified the league’s stance on the move, and *spoiler alert* it wasn’t a travel.
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
While the league seemingly has left Harden drawing contact on three-pointers up to discretion, officials appear to be singular on his step-back jumper. Despite outcries of travelling all last season- after Harden expanded his game and fully took advantage of the league’s gather policy- the league hasn’t cracked down on him like some people would have hoped.
Why haven’t they? Well, because it’s not a travel.
Many can’t grasp that Harden doesn’t travel on step-backs because it simply hasn’t been done before like he does it.
Have you ever seen that movie “Semi-Pro?” At the end of the movie, Will Ferrell’s character invents the alley-oop dunk, and he executes it with Andre 3000’s character. The entire crowd went silent, and the referee blows the whistle and calls “Foul! No! Two fouls!”
That’s kind of what’s happening here. Luckily, it’s only the crowd confused by what they saw, and the officials know what’s going on.
I hate to break it to you, but Harden knows the rules better than you do. He’s just better at this stuff than most people. Just appreciate what he does- acceptance will find you eventually.
We have an update from the NBA— Wobciferous (@World_Wide_Wob) October 10, 2018
Per last RT and as seen in slow-mo @NBAOfficial has deemed the right foot + lateral movement to be a “gather step”
Therefore the 2 steps from Section XIII (b) do not apply until after gather is complete
Harden a wizard at coming up with this shit pic.twitter.com/q4Xa9Lv80U