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#pounditThursday, May 23, 2024

James Harden pulled off the most ridiculous play of the NBA season

James Harden contests Kawhi Leonards shot

James Harden pulled a stunt on Wednesday night that has probably never been seen before in an NBA game, and we don’t mean that in a good way.

The Clippers had an 81-60 lead late in the third quarter of their game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday when Harden drove into the lane and smartly kicked the ball out to a wide-open Kawhi Leonard. Leonard had a clean look at a three-pointer from the corner until Harden closed out on him and put a hand in Leonard’s face.

Yes, you read that correctly. Harden actually played defense on his own teammate. You can see the play below:

Harden was asked about the bizarre play after the game, which the Clippers won 116-103. He said he thought the stunt would help breathe some life into his team amid a rough stretch of play.

“I’m trying to bring some excitement to this team, you know what I mean? I think this last few weeks has been a fog for us. I think every team goes through it,” Harden said. “So, I think it’s just me trying to create a great energy and create a great vibe for this team. It would have been better if he made the shot, but give somebody something to laugh about, you know what I mean? Some excitement.”

Harden has committed plenty of costly blunders in the past. In this case, he seemed to know exactly what he was doing. He probably knew the Clippers had the game in hand and was trying to go viral, but even Leonard seemed annoyed based on his reaction. Clippers head coach Ty Lue was also speechless.

We doubt we will see that from Harden again this season.

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