James Harden is an extremely crafty basketball player. He’s excellent at getting checked 1-on-1, then digging deep into his bag of tricks to make an opposing defender look foolish. The latest example of this came on Tuesday night against the Atlanta Hawks, when Harden put Hawks wing Kent Bazemore in the spin cycle.
Bazemore was tasked with guarding Harden, but the reigning league MVP had no interest in this. Harden went between the legs and looked like he was planning to go right, then pulled off a crossover and went into the paint en route to a layup with his left hand. This caught Bazemore off guard, as evidenced by the fact that he spun around and was left watching as Harden hit a runner.
It was the kind of thing that caught the attention of the social media sphere, even though it was a single moment early on in a 121-105 Rockets win. No one would have really blamed Bazemore if he was a bit peeved about all of this, but the veteran decided it’d be best to address the situation head-on. Bazemore took to Instagram and wrote out a lengthy statement on Wednesday morning about what went down, explaining what he was trying to do ultimately praising Harden for a “great move.”
Harden had 31 points on the evening, but as far as I can tell, only two of them led to an opposing player releasing a statement. Therefore, that was the most impressive bucket he scored all game.