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“Kick the Guy Away From Him”: When Joe Rogan Deciphered James Harden’s Flopping and Ability to Get to the Free Throw Line

Hitesh Nigam

"Kick the Guy Away From Him": When Joe Rogan Deciphered James Harden's Flopping and Ability to Get to the Free Throw Line

In the last game against the Houston Rockets, the Clippers guard James Harden connected for a clutch 3-pointer, along with a foul, leaving six seconds to the game. Amidst Harden’s ability to produce such chances in crunch situations, a Joe Rogan clip from 2019 has emerged. In the video shared by JRE Clips on YouTube, Joe Rogan analyzes The Beard’s two different stances of shooting, when he is free and when he is being defended.

Rogan doubled down on the breakdown presented by Sports Center, saying:

“When he [James Harden] has free open shots, he just jumps in the air…but when he is challenged, he throws his legs up to hit the other person so he could fall down on his a**”.

Adding to this narrative, Rogan further believed the following.

“It’s like he is forcing contact with the person so that he can fall down…its interesting”. Going further in detail about this special play by Harden, Rogan added, “when he’s challenged, he throws his body weight forward so that he falls, in the hope of getting him a foul. He moves leaning his legs towards them to make contact”.

The podcaster stated that the move could be involuntary as well, and also backed it up with a fact that in recent years, The Beard has been known for getting to the free-throw lines, much higher than anybody else in the league.

However, Rogan credited the head of the Sports center for this analysis and also pondered upon the possibility that “maybe he has a different reaction when someone is in front of him where he almost wants to kick the guy away from him.” To eliminate this particular abnormality, the NBA introduced a rule change in the 2021-22 season.

James Harden’s free throw numbers have dipped since the rule change

To curb these forced foul plays by the offensive shooters, the NBA introduced new rule changes to eliminate such non-basketball moves. These changes will influence the referee calls whenever there is an abnormal angle created by the shooter due to pump fakes, to crash into the defender and try to force a foul.

Consequently, these changes have seemed to affect the free throw attempt numbers of James Harden, in particular. Whether Harden does it voluntarily or involuntarily is unclear, but the changes have surely affected the play style and results of The Beard.

Harden has constantly attempted more than 10 free throws per game in the 2012-13 season. However, since the new rules arrived, this number has dipped to 7-8, with this year’s numbers coming down to 6.2 FTs per game. Though this could be due to the change in his role since the Rocket days, the rule change does seem to have played its part.

And, given the transition phase that Harden is going through right now, it seems he would need every trick in his book, however, this one might not do any good now.

About the author

Hitesh Nigam

Hitesh Nigam


Hitesh Nigam is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. As a Post-graduate in Journalism and an enthusiastic sports lover, Nigam combines his skills to chunk out informative and interesting content. He found his love in Basketball as a schoolboy after witnessing the greatness of LBJ. As a State-level Basketball player, Nigam is well aware of the on-field intricacies. He is a hardcore LA Lakers fan and loves the playstyle of their SG, Austin Reaves. Apart from NBA, Nigam loves watching and analyzing NFL matches.

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