With clock winding down in the third quarter of a meaningless preseason game Tuesday night against the Shanghai Sharks, Houston Rockets guard James Harden looked to be in midseason form. The NBA’s reigning MVP was on fire, and his final shot of the night was nothing more than a few clicks away from breaking the Internet.
Harden looked up at the clock with exactly five seconds to go. He crossed the ball over from right to left, crossed it back over to his right and put it between his legs before wrapping the ball around his back and using his go-to, step-back move for a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
It was as pretty as it sounds and had the Toyota Center buzzing with excitement during the 128-86 victory over the Sharks. The only problem is so many think the 6-foot-3 superstar took too many steps.
The debate raged through the night on social media. Did James Harden travel? Or is James Harden actually a wizard with the basketball spending his spare time coming up with ridiculously creative ways to shake off defenders?
Although it might look like Harden took one too many steps, his right foot was technically his pivot foot so when he made the behind-the-back move, it was legal.
In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t truly matter considering this was a spin-off preseason game and not a Western Conference Finals game against the Golden State Warriors.
The craziest part might be the fact that it was his ninth 3-pointer of the game. He finished with 37 points and nine assists.
Harden has a few days worth of highlights making defenders look foolish, and if this isn’t actually a travel, then he really might be a wizard and virtually unguardable.