On Wednesday night, the talk of the NBA was, once again, Houston Rockets guard James Harden. This time, however, it wasn’t a historic performance, but rather a specific play as Harden made former Los Angeles Lakers and current Clippers forward Wesley Johnson fall with a filthy crossover.
The play had fans and fellow players alike going crazy on social media as not only was Harden’s crossover ridiculous, but he stopped to stare down Johnson on the ground before effortlessly nailing a three-pointer.
The play caught the attention of Lakers point guard Isaiah Thomas, who said he was thankful that it wasn’t him on the receiving end of it, via ESPN:
“He sat him down, as my kids would say. He sat him down. That was a nice move. I’m just glad I’m not that guy that fell. … It was a special play. It’s going to be talked about for a while. It wouldn’t have mattered if he missed it. Making a play like that, that don’t matter.”
Lakers head coach Luke Walton had a different take, recalling his days of being crossed over, but never falling because of his lack of athleticism, per ESPN:
“James, what he can do with the basketball is incredible. It was entertaining to watch. I don’t know if I ever fell over, but I’ve been crossed over plenty of times. When you’re slow, it’s hard to fall over. Because you get crossed over but you are just standing there. Sometimes they bring the crossover back to you when they could’ve just gone right past you. It was pretty impressive, though.”
Either way you look at it, what Harden did was outstanding. Of course, when Johnson was with the Lakers, he picked Harden’s pocket clean to ice a game against the Rockets so perhaps this was Harden’s revenge many years later.
Harden is clearly the frontrunner for MVP this season and that play was proof of why. Thankfully the Lakers only have one more game remaining against the Rockets so the odds of Harden doing something similar to one of them seems unlikely.
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