During a Nov. 8 game against the Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets point guard James Harden finally gets a foul call and celebrates like he won a championship.
If there was a poster boy for the NBA’s new intentional foul rules, it would be Brooklyn Nets point guard James Harden.
As talented as he is, the point guard has made a career by “foul hunting”, or drawing intentional fouls in order to get more free throw opportunities. A new interpretation of the intentional foul rules has hit Harden harder than any other player.
The Nets star has looked completely broken by the new rules, repreatedly trying to draw fouls over and over to no avail.
Finally, a referee whistle blew on Monday as Bulls center Tony Bradley grazed Harden’s face as he drove towards the basket.
But Harden didn’t celebrate the ensuing layup: it was finally getting that foul call that had the nine-time NBA All-Star celebrating like he won a championship.
James Harden finally gets a foul call and celebrates like he won something
During the first week of the 2021-22 season, Harden addressed media when asked if he was the “poster boy” for the foul rule change. Harden laughed and acknowledged it at the time, clarifying that he simply wants NBA referees to call fouls when they take place.
From the way Harden has been acting all season, it seems that his Nov. 8 vindication stems from feeling ignored all season by refs. Various clips document Harden’s failed attempts to draw fouls this season as the elite point guard continues with his misguided strategy.
The downside to Harden’s reputation is that he actually has been ignored when fouls have taken place, which is why Monday night’s whistle was likely a surprise.
While foul drawing won’t work anymore for Harden, good old-fashioned fouls will always have a place on the NBA court — and nothing makes Harden happier.