We don’t hate James Harden. Not even close. For the many, many basketball fans who do, though, the Houston Rockets superstar provided more irrational justification for dislike during his team’s loss to the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
Why? Harden ruined what could be the most impressive play of Steph Curry’s season by fouling Festus Ezeli to prevent an easy dunk.
Remember when the reigning MVP dribbled though a maze of Los Angeles Clippers defenders before draining a trey?
We didn’t think Curry could ever exhibit his remarkable blend of dribbling ability and overall hand-eye coordination better than he did last March. Less than two full games into the 2015-16 season, though, he proved us wildly wrong.
The ball handling exploits it took for the Warriors superstar to weave his way through Montrezl Harrell, Ty Lawson, and Clint Capela are amazing by themselves. He crosses over four separate times in less than two seconds. Crazy. But what makes this play absolutely mind-boggling is that Curry did it all before flipping a no-look, left-handed touch pass to a rolling Ezeli – and he knew what he was going to do the entire time.
Some players see things developing on the court well before they occur. LeBron James comes to mind in that regard, and perhaps no player’s patience goads more mistakes by defenses and opportunities for his team than Chris Paul’s.
But Curry is simply playing a different game than anyone else in the NBA these days, a development that has as much to do with his genius basketball intellect as unrivaled technical skill – and that was plainly obvious on this awe-inspiring play.