Isaiah Thomas of the Los Angeles Lakers is the latest to shower Houston Rockets star James Harden with some praise, following the destructive nature of his step back on L.A. Clippers small forward Wesley Johnson, one that is bound to be engraved in players’ memories for the next few days.
“He sat him down, as my kids would say,” Thomas told ESPN. “He sat him down. That was a nice move. I’m just glad I’m not that guy that fell… It was a special play. It’s going to be talked about for a while. It wouldn’t have mattered if he missed it. Making a play like that, that don’t matter.”
Players have already talked about it plenty, as The Beard has even received some praise by The King himself, who noted this would be one of the plays that will go in his personal highlight reel.
Harden’s patented step back move has been his one unstoppable move that is on every defender’s scouting report, and one that even Johnson, a reputable defender in this league, fell victim to in the worst of fashions.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton, not the swiftest of the defenders during his time in the league, gave his take on what it’s like to be at the opposite end of the highlight reel.
“James, what he can do with the basketball is incredible. It was entertaining to watch,” said Walton. “I don’t know if I ever fell over, but I’ve been crossed over plenty of times. When you’re slow, it’s hard to fall over. Because you get crossed over but you are just standing there. Sometimes they bring the crossover back to you when they could’ve just gone right past you. It was pretty impressive, though.”
Thomas would know plenty of breezing past people at a speedy 5-foot-9, but Harden has made it look easy, even at 6-foot-5 — combining a hulking 220 pounds of torque with a swift footwork that made the Staples Center erupt, despite the home team being down 28-7 at the time.
God bless The Beard.