Ball Don't Lie

James Harden jersey-wearing chicken mascot tackles streaker during New Zealand rugby match

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

I swear, all of those words are true. See for yourself:

OK, then.

This all took place during a rugby match between the Otago Highlanders and the New Zealand Blues on Saturday, and according to Rosie Manins of the Otago Daily Times, it's made Highlanders team mascot A.J. the Chicken — a.k.a. Andrew James — something of a hero around Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin:

''I felt as a mascot it was part of my duty,'' he said yesterday. ''I had to stop him at all costs. So I gave it my all, showed some toe and managed to catch him.'' [...]

The cumbersome costume slowed his running and restricted his vision, but sheer determination paid off.

''I saw there were no security guards on him so I thought I would just do my best and try to save the day. ''I started running ... as fast as I could and then I just dove and tackled him."

There is, as of press time, no earthly explanation for the James Harden jersey besides the obvious one — that, like everyone else, anthropomorphic chickens love watching the Houston Rockets' hirsute wonder play. Which, y'know, would be explanation enough for me.

A.J. the Chicken's Harden impression clearly needs some work, though. I mean, when's the last time you saw James try that hard on defense?

Video via thehighlandersrugby. Hat-tip to Stephen Douglas at The Big Lead.

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