JAMES HARDEN: What? That wasn’t a foul.
REF: Yes, you fouled him. Caught him on the hand. *holds out hand*
HARDEN: *has already forgotten the foul* Good job, team! *high-fives ref*
James Harden has long had a reputation as a confused, lackadaisical defender. That reputation has changed this season, in a year where Harden has presented a legitimate case as an MVP candidate, but that doesn’t mean he’s still not prone to error. For instance: in the play above, he opened up Rockets-Nets with a bad defensive play, leaving Alan Anderson a bit too wide open on the left side and flailing out to foul him on a three-point attempt.
But the best part came after, when the referee tried to explain to him the error of his ways. Harden, on autopilot, just gave him a high-five, like the referee was just another teammate. The best part: the referee just nods, like that was the plan all along. So smooth.