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Kevin Durant doesn’t think James Harden is “cheating the game”

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With all the talk on Harden’s foul-drawing antics, his former teammate and current rival respects the reigning MVP’s game.

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Six Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The aftermath of Game 1 between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors has been interesting. James Harden was upset that he didn’t get more fouls called in his favor, which in turn led to many people complaining about Harden’s foul-drawing tactics.

One person with a unique perspective is Warriors star Kevin Durant. Durant has gone against Harden many times, including in hotly-contested playoff games. He was also Harden’s teammate with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

While many Warriors fans believe that Harden is gaming the system and exploiting the rules, Durant sees it another way. KD simply thinks that Harden is crafty.

“I wouldn’t say that he has an advantage,” Durant said at Tuesday’s shootaround, when asked if Harden has a protective bubble around him. “I think everybody, once they get in the lane, they use little tricks to get their shots off. I don’t think he’s any different. He may bump guys off going to the rim, but everybody does that. I wouldn’t say that he’s found a way to cheat the rules, I wouldn’t say that.

“I just think that he has his style of play, and it might not be what everybody might like to see, but it’s been effective and I don’t think he’s been cheating the game at all. . . I think he plays inside the game, plays within the rules of the game, and shit happens. Referees aren’t going to be perfect all game, just like players aren’t. More so than just the talk about calls and officiating, it should be about how great all of these players are on the court. How they uniquely bring something different to the table. It’s been a fun last couple of days.”

It’s always a treat to hear Durant talk basketball, and to wax eloquently about other players.