Have you ever wondered what the defensive equivalent of an own-basket is? While usually acting as a matador on defense, James Harden’s got an answer for you in the form of this incredible play from a Drew League game, wherein he drives to the basket, kicks the ball out to a teammate behind the 3-point line…and then closes out on him (by way of reddit, via ProBasketballTalk).
Harden is lucky this is a summer pickup game that not many people realize is even going on — if this happened in an NBA game, it would probably break the internet.
It’s honestly on the level of JaVale McGee running back on defense when his team still had the ball, which was one of the greatest moments in NBA history.
Even the PA announcer at the Drew League saw what was going on and called out “Shaqtin’ a fool” when Harden tried to play defense on his own teammate. This is a setting where Harden can have a gaffe like this and everyone can laugh it off. There aren’t millions of dollars and a legacy on the line at Drew League. But Harden already has enough of a reputation for not playing defense as it is — if the one time he plays defense is against his teammate, that isn’t going to help his case.