Through three games, Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden has only attempted nine free throws. His free-throw rate is a career-low .184. Prior to this season, it’d never been lower than .415.
After Sunday’s 111-95 loss against the Charlotte Hornets dropped Brooklyn to 1-2 on the year, both Harden and head coach Steve Nash addressed the star’s dwindling free throw production, which is potentially correlated with the NBA’s change in how they call shooting fouls.
“I feel like he’s unfairly become the poster boy of not calling these fouls. But some of them are definitely fouls still,” Nash said. “But (referees) are just so alert and aware, and he’s the poster child of these new decisions. I get it, there’s a line, but some of them are still fouls, so he’s just gotta stick with it. He’s gotta keep going to the basket and he’s gotta do what he does because a large portion of them are still fouls and if he doesn’t get fouls, he can still make plays.”
Harden took to the podium after Nash and said “yeah, for sure” that he feels as though he’s the “poster boy” of the NBA’s rule changes.
"I just ask officials to call what they see"
James Harden says he feels like the "poster boy" of the NBA's rule changes, but adds, "I'm not the type to complain about it" pic.twitter.com/VRg170JN8B
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) October 24, 2021
“But I’m not the type to complain about it,” he continued. “I just ask every official that if they see a foul, just call the foul. Sometimes, I feel like, coming into a game, it’s already predetermined or I already have that stigma of getting foul calls, but I just ask for officials to call what they see.”
Harden is averaging 18.3 points, eight assists, and 7.3 rebounds in 34 minutes per game.