NBA: Harden chambers an opponent … before missing his shot
This is one of the actions of the evening which marked, on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday in France, the launch of the new NBA season. But it’s neither a raging dunk from LeBron James nor a midfield shot from Stephen Curry. The author of this action is James Harden. The most famous bearded man in the NBA was the author of a sequence worthy of « video gag » and which has since been looping on social networks.
An action that begins as a highlight before ending up ridiculous. Irresistible on the floor of Boston, the back of Philadelphia stacks the baskets – he will finish the game with 35 points – feels wings grow in his back. On a counter-attack at the end of the 2nd quarter, Harden brings the ball back, skillfully stopping his momentum with a cross dribble which confuses his direct opponent Marcus Smart. Surprised, the latter simulates a push by dropping to the ground and sliding several meters. Stripped of any marking, « The Beard » (the bearded man) decides to chamber his opponents by taking his time to shoot behind the arc and by starting a « shimmy shak », a dance of the shoulders. Unfortunately for him, his shot smashes on the board and ends in… « air ball ».
Able to plant behind the arc despite three players on the coat, Harden was entitled to the honors of the first edition of the season of « Shaqtin’a Fool », the blooper commented on by former Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal for the program “NBA on TNT”.
Note that Joel Embiid, the other Philadelphia star who obtained French nationality this summer and who could play for the Blues from the World Championship in 2023, had a full game with 26 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists. The pivot with three passports (Cameroon, France and the United States) was also involved in an altercation with two Boston players.
A performance that will not have been enough for Philly. Finalists of the last championship and carried by the duo Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, authors of 35 points each, the Celtics won this first duel of the season (126-117).