Ahead of the new season, the NBA Boards of Governors gave a new clarification to improve the meaning of traveling. As expected, the new emphasis on the violation caught the attention of Houston Rockets star guard, James Harden.
Each year, fans, players, and coaches criticized Harden’s signature step-back, saying that the move violates the basketball terms of traveling. Following Sunday’s training camp session inside the Toyota Center, an aggravated Harden says it time to embrace the move other than criticizing it.
”It shouldn’t have been a point. I’m tired of hearing that’s a travel. From coaches, other players, haters, fans, whatever you want to call it, embrace it. It’s going to be here for a while. It’s going to be here forever.”
James Harden talks about the new traveling rules:— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) September 29, 2019
“The moves that I do and create aren’t travels...just cuz it looks awkward or different from what the world is used to...that’s called being a creator”
( @TheHRReview ) pic.twitter.com/dZVtxaTOOM
While defending his move, Harden compared his signature jumper to the legendary Euro-Step. Similar to the step-back, the iconic move once drew the same criticism when it was introduced to the NBA in the early 2000s.
”I don’t understand where this whole traveling thing comes from. Just because it looks awkward or looks different from what the world is used to. That’s called being a creator. That’s called changing the game.”
Rockets head coach, Mike D’Antoni says he is not worried about the updated terms on traveling. According to D’Antoni, the NBA Boards of Governors made it a priority to prove that Harden’s step-back is not a violation to the rules.
“Hopefully coaches will quit complaining, and hopefully you guys in the news will understand that’s not traveling. They made a point to tell every head coach that is not traveling [Harden’s step-back]. And it’s not traveling.”
After making a huge deal of his signature move, only time will tell whether the new language will have any effect on Harden in the near future. With no clear indication on what is a travel or not, perhaps fans may have to wait one more year before James Harden introduce his one-legged fadeaway jumper to the league.