Rockets star James Harden sees his step-back in the same level as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook, Michael Jordan’s fadeaway
Call Houston Rockets star James Harden the king of the step-back.
Harden, who visited the Philippines for his Adidas tour, thinks he has made the step-back 3-pointer his own after a historic season which saw him lead the league in scoring and almost win his second-straight Most Valuable Player award.
Harden’s step-back 3-pointer is unarguably one of the hardest moves to guard in the NBA today. Combine it with his shiftiness and ability to draw fouls and you have arguably one of the best offensive maestro’s in the history of the league.
While there are plenty of people questioning Harden’s step-back — with most people calling it a traveling violation — The Beard himself is not one bit bothered by it. In fact, he is embracing the move and believes he has elevated it to the same level as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook and Michael Jordan’s iconic fadeaway shot.
“I look at my step-back in the level that I’ve taken it to similar to like the skyhook or maybe the MJ fadeaway,” Harden said during his Adidas press conference in Manila.
KAJ’s skyhook is still hailed as one of the most unguardable shots in NBA history. The same goes for Jordan’s signature fadeaway jumper that undoubtedly played a role in its use by players today.
Harden believes that his step-back has had the same impact on the younger generation, which the Rockets star seems to enjoy.
“You just see it (step-back) everywhere… especially kids who are being more creative and they’re trying to explore it like you’ve never seen that in AAU basketball,” Harden added. “And now, it has taken over, which is something that I enjoy. That allows me to get back in the gym and try to figure out more moves and things like that to keep impacting the game.”
The 2018 NBA MVP, however, thinks the step-back is far from a finished product and he wants to continue evolving it.
“That step-back — the way it has been evolved — hopefully I can continue to grow it,” Harden ended.