Man, it’s already been a year since James Harden ended the career of Wesley Johnson? It feels like just yesterday we were all freaking out on the internet over one of the most disrespectful moves in recent memory. A play like this is why I will always have the stance that watching someone get crossed up/embarrassed is 1000000x better than seeing someone get put on a poster. At least with the poster there is an attempt at defense, when you find yourself on skates like Wesley Johnson did here there’s really no coming back from it. I think my favorite part of the whole sequence was the look on his face as it was happening. It was almost as if he knew in real time he was about to be roasted on the internet and that his career was pretty much over. I can’t tell you one thing about his career other than this moment, and that’s rough.
Turns out he’s played in 33 games this year for two teams, one being the Pelicans and then the other the Wizards. He’s averaging like 3 points a night and is essentially a non factor. You could make the case that this play really did end his career. I mean if you can’t crack minutes on either of those teams, it’s pretty much a wrap for you. Now when it comes to James Harden? He’s only leading the league in scoring and in a dogfight for his second consecutive MVP, so pretty much at the opposite end of the spectrum.
But back to the play. There’s so much to love whether it’s the actual crossover which was nasty, watching Johnson’s legs completely fail him as he hit the ground, the anticipation of the crowd slowly building despite it being a game that was played in LA, the pause from Harden that felt like a legit 30 seconds, to then hitting nothing but the bottom of the net to complete the play. This whole thing doesn’t matter if Harden misses that shot, and the pause and ball spin was so disrespectful I can’t stand it. I remember at the time there were people trying to say Harden pushed off, but no way, this was a good old fashioned basketball murder and it was probably the play of the year last season.
Harden just so happens to be in action tonight against the Heat, and I would love for him to try and recreate this move on the 1 year anniversary. Just so long as it doesn’t happen to my man Kelly Olynyk, that is my only ask.