James Harden was designed in a lab to be the most ruthlessly efficient basketball player in the world. It’s one of the more polarizing things about him, but Harden is the perfect player for a Houston Rockets squad that primarily wants to take the most valuable shots in the game on a given possession. He’s obviously not shy about letting it fly from three, but part of his brilliance is that Harden’s also outstanding at getting to the rim, whether he’s overpowering smaller guys or blowing past slower ones.
Harden putting his head down and getting to the rim is one of the more inevitable things in the NBA, because he’s excellent at both finishing through contact and getting fouled. It’s also a skill that helps him embarrass NBA-level defenders with some frequency. Today, we are celebrating him doing this to, uh, not an NBA-level defender.
The former league MVP held his basketball camp in Houston over the weekend, and as is the case whenever an NBA player does this sort of thing, he decided to play some 1-on-1 against campers. One such child’s attempt to check The Beard went so poorly that the Rockets decided to blast it out on their Twitter account. Behold:
The start of this video sets the tone. Within the first two seconds, Harden hits the camper with a jab step that causes him to jump back a few feet. A moment later, Harden straight up nutmegs him and nearly causes him to hit the deck, which, as someone who has been crossed up before, is the worst feeling in the world.
But Harden wasn’t done. Nay, he was just beginning. Harden decided to bring the ball back out behind the three-point line and give the camper another shot at checking him. It did not work. As we’ve seen him do to some of the best basketball players in the world, Harden combines a head fake and his killer crossover, which leads to the camper going full Game of Thrones and bending the knee the his ruler.
Harden is hardly new to the art of making campers look silly. This one, for instance, is still extremely funny.
This is generally a fun genre of offseason NBA video, as basketball players seem to enjoy going to camps and absolutely humiliating the children who are in attendance. Like the art of drawing a foul on a three-pointer, no one has mastered this quite like Harden. To all those who may attend his basketball camps in the future, we must advise that you do not take Harden up on the offer to play 1-on-1, because you will end up getting embarrassed.