James Harden Explains Why He Bizarrely Tried To Block His Own Teammate’s Shot

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Clippers guard James Harden

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Clippers soundly defeated the Portland Trail Blazers by a score of 116-103 in a game where James Harden attracted plenty of attention thanks to his baffling decision to try to block his own teammate’s shot. 

What goes on inside the head of James Harden is sometimes hard to understand. A striking example of this occurred on Wednesday when the Clippers were leading Portland 81-60 with less than five minutes to go in the third quarter.

The “Bearded One” stared down the Blazers’ defense and laid the ball off to Kawhi Leonard, who was left alone in the left corner for what should’ve been a wide-open three-pointer. However, he was so wide-open that Harden apparently decided he needed a challenge, as he scrambled to block Leonard as he launched the shot that ultimately clanked off the rim. 

Harden addressed that bizarre moment after the game, saying, “It was to get the team a little excited,” while explaining it in all seriousness. “We’ve been going through a tunnel these last few weeks [the Clippers had lost four out of five games before this one]. Every team goes through that. So I thought I’d try something to change the mood and wake everyone up a bit. Well, it would have been better if he’d put his shot in, but at least it gave us something fun and exciting.”

This post is originally from L’Équipe