Richard Jefferson argues Rockets’ James Harden only started lunging his feet vs. Warriors after lack of foul calls
Williams admitted Harden didn’t get the benefit of the call in several shots, but ultimately he turned to exaggerate his landing space in hope to entice officials to make the call.
“We’re not talking about—I’m personally not talking about that last call, we are all in agreement that was not a foul because of a lack of verticality,” said Jefferson on the set of ESPN’s Get Up! “But when you don’t get those calls in the first half, what is the first thing you do? You exaggerate it. You start to exaggerate like ‘yo, I’m not getting this call’ — So if I’m going [vertically] straight up and down three different times and I keep getting put on my butt, the next thing I do is ‘well, they’re not seeing it, maybe I need to exaggerate. That’s when you get the Chris Paul (bumping his hip into the defender), that’s when you get a person jumping in.”
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) April 29, 2019
Analyst Ryan Clark quickly jumped in to argue Jefferson’s point.
“Why does everybody have to flop and exaggerate for calls instead of shooting the basketball to score?,” asked Clark.
Jefferson’s point is sound, but so is Clark’s questioning. Harden and the Rockets had much more in their arsenal besides baiting the Warriors into fouling them on 3-point attempts.
The Beard went to the line 14 times and made 13 of them, but somehow the controversy stuck in those missed calls from the first half that turned this game into a muddy nightmare.
Williams argued that it was that exaggeration that ultimately led officials to stay away from making that call, considering Harden’s reputation for manipulating officiating with his play.