Houston Rockets superstar James Harden said that he was working on a new move for next season. Did he just unveil it in a pickup game?
The one thing all great players have in common is that they’re always getting better, no matter what heights they’ve already reached. After winning the MVP Award in 2018, James Harden returned the next year to lead the league in scoring again in the 2018-19 season, only this time he averaged 36.1 points per game, 5.7 more than in his MVP season.
Harden is a certified gym rat, and the ease at which he scores the ball against some of the best athletes in the world proves that working hard on your craft really does pay off.
Back in July, a kid asked Harden why he started to use the step-back jumper. Harden said that in order to stay on top in the NBA, you have to improve year after year. He also revealed that he is working on a new move that will appear to be a travel but isn’t, via ESPN.
“In the NBA, especially at the highest level of basketball, you got to find ways to get better every single year. You got to find ways to create an advantage every single year. And that’s what I’m doing. It’s not a travel.”
“This year, I’m going to come up with something more creative, and it’s gonna look like a travel but it’s not. Honestly! Even when I was on a tour, in Europe or China, or even when I’m here in the U.S., I see kids your guys’ age that are working on step-backs, working on moves, because it’s going to gain you an opportunity to be better than the rest of your peers. And that’s what I’m going for.
In a recent pickup game, James Harden was filmed taking an interesting looking jumper. The Beard faked left, but came back to his right, took two steps and attempted a one-legged jumper off of his left foot.
This is a very difficult jumper, because shooting off of one foot obviously doesn’t provide the same balance that shooting off of two feet does. Not to mention, Harden’s momentum is moving towards his right and when most players attempt a one-legged jumper, they jump off of their off leg, like Dirk Nowitzki‘s one-legged fade away. However, Harden is left-handed, but he seemingly prefers to leap off his left leg instead of his right, making this a very complex shot.
As Harden said back in July, he is working on a shot that is both creative and looks like a travel but is not. This particular shot checks both of those boxes and leads one to wonder if this is the move he’s been working on this summer, as he looked quite comfortable taking and making that one-legged jumper.
In recent years, James Harden has added the step-back jumper, side-step jumper and a floater to his resume, making him nearly impossible to stop for opposing defenses, no matter which scheme they decide to employ.
It’ll be interesting to see if this is the newest move in his repertoire or if he’s planning on adding something completely different.