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Nets guard James Harden loves to talk his talk, but he walks the walk with it. In his 12 years in the NBA, he has solidified himself as one of the best scorers we have ever seen. Defenders are left helpless at times and because of it they are forced to foul Harden. Since entering the league 2009, he has drawn 521 fouls from the 3-point line alone according to NBA Crazy Stats. This number beats every other team in the league by a large margin.
The Los Angeles Lakers are the closest team to the 32-year-old in drawing fouls from the three-point line at 439. Harden has revolutionized the game by getting defenders to bite and young stars such as Trae Young have followed suit. PJ Tucker, an ex-teammate of the Beard who currently plays for the Miami Heat, explained his observation of Harden’s manipulative tactic in the The Players’ Tribune in 2020:
“I used to foul him all the time and it drove me insane. And that’s all part of his plan. No matter how great you are at defending, James (Harden) can make you reach, and when you do he’ll absorb that contact and keep going because he’s so strong. As he gets more whistles, and you get more frustrated, he’ll just keep attacking. By the end of the game, you’re beat up, exhausted and pissed off.”
After seeing the nine-time All-Star in practice and competing against him for years, Tucker knows first hand what it takes to try to contain Harden. Especially as a defensive specialist. Still, even for him, it’s mission impossible because the Nets guard will find a way no matter what to get you to foul.