I never thought I’d feel sorry for James Harden, but NBA officials have a personal vendetta against him so far this season.
Harden could get mauled, or attacked by a tiger on the court, and it wouldn’t matter. He would not get a foul call.
Despite his status as a star in the Association, NBA officials have taken it upon themselves to send Harden’s game back to the 90’s. He must play through contact, despite the fact that his game is predicated on getting said contact, and landing at the free throw line. When Harden doesn’t get his free throws, his game fails. It’s that simple.
On Friday night, we got another example of what happens when Harden doesn’t receive foul calls.
This is a foul, no? He was hammered with two arms while he tried to shoot a lay-up.
James Harden forced to adjust on the fly
Harden is coming back from a hamstring injury and he’s been forced to adjust on the fly to significant rule changes which seem aimed directly at him. Such is the case when a player takes advantage of the rulebook. Eventually, the officials will regress to the norm.
The NBA became unwatchable at times when Harden would get every call. To be fair, it was not just him, but dozens of copycats who shot far too many free throws for Adam Silver’s liking.
It slowed down the game, and made for a worse product on the court. So, here we are, with Harden taking more contact and shooting less free throws.
A player as talented as the future Hall of Famer will eventually adjust, but for now, it’s tough to watch.