I may sound like a “Harden hater,” but…

James Harden is getting away with traveling, refs need to call him on it


Damien Funnell, Staff Writer

We’ve all seen it, one of the most iconic moves in the NBA today and in history, the step back. It’s a lethal move that a basketball player can use to create space between their defender after giving him a crossover or two. But after the step back, players are forced to pick up their dribble.

James Harden, who plays for the Houston Rockets, has found an exception to this rule.

The official NBA rule reads in Section XIII : “A player who receives the ball while he is progressing or upon completion of a dribble, may take two steps in coming to a stop, passing, or shooting the ball.”

If this is the case, how come James Harden is allowed to get away with taking four steps in his step back? It’s not like he’s extremely slick about it when he does it. It’s clearly noticeable and referees across the NBA should be calling it a travel.

Hardens version of a step back is impressive and gives him great separation. In fact, his step back is so good that it has other players attempting to do it. Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry attempted Harden’s step back on Jan. 5 while playing the Sacramento Kings and was called for a travel, which was rightfully so!

While I’m happy that a referee picked up on it, how come it took another player to do it for it to be called? It’s unfair that just Harden would be allowed to get away with this move.

I may sound like a “Harden hater,” but I assure you that isn’t the case.

I love the scoring tear he’s been on recently and the way he’s been carrying his team to wins. I just think that it isn’t fair to see one player abuse a move that is illegal and hard to defend. Especially when other players aren’t given the same treatment.

I believe that all players who attempt this move should be called for a travel. Referees around the NBA should pick up on this and make the correct call.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Reach Damien Funnell at [email protected] .