During a preseason game on Tuesday, James Harden set NBA Twitter on fire. The reigning MVP was winding down the third quarter clock in a contest between his Houston Rockets and the Shanghai Sharks when he busted out a wild variation of his signature crossover. Rather than dribble the ball, Harden switched hands behind his back, before firing up a three-pointer.
9 THREES for Harden (37 PTS)! 24 3PM for the @HoustonRockets! #NBAPreseason pic.twitter.com/qI7x6XfcT2— NBA (@NBA) October 10, 2018
It was mesmerizing.
It also wasn’t new.
It’s a move that Steph Curry has had in his arsenal for a few years now, as evidenced by this practice video from over two years ago.
Steph at work pic.twitter.com/UbGQ1oEqKF— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) September 27, 2016
Back when this video first showed up, SB Nation’s Mike Prada spoke with Brandon Payne, Curry’s personal trainer. Here’s what Payne had to say about the slick move:
We’re always looking for new ways to transfer the basketball from the floor into the shooting motion, and we’re always looking for ways to protect the basketball. That was something that was born out of moves he makes going to the basket, and we just expanded and build onto it on the perimeter as well.
It’s something that can be used when a man is guarding him really, really tightly, where he can switch from the left side of his body to the right side of his body in tight situation and still get a very good, clean shot off. . .
. . . But it’s just a part of the things we do in terms of ball-handling. It’s part of our shooting series. It’s part of our driving series. Again, it’s just a way to transfer the ball from one side of the body to the other side, get him off the floor, get him into his shot position as quickly as possible in terms of ball security. He makes it look easier than it really is.
So, now we just have to wait and see if Curry or Harden try this move out against each other.