No, James Harden did not travel on behind-the-back move and shot

Associated Press

What was NBA Twitter obsessing about Wednesday? Well, besides whatever the heck Minnesota thinks it’s doing with the Jimmy Butler trade disaster.

This was the topic of the day:

That clip brought out the armies of people who say “when I played JV high school ball in 1994, that would have been called a travel.” Those people also think everything was better in the ’90s, conveniently glossing over the OJ Simpson trial, the Backstreet Boys, Furbies, the Spice Girls, “Dharma & Greg”, NSYNC, and the fact “Forest Gump” won an Oscar. That was a horrid cultural decade. However, those people are right about one thing: At that level at that time it was a travel.

Now welcome to 2018: The NBA not called that a travel for a long, long time.

To be more clear: What James Harden did was not a travel.

The NBA rule is, simplified, “gather and two steps.” Meaning one step if it is while the player is gathering the ball, plus two more. For a player like Giannis Antetokounmpo, he can begin that process outside the three-point line and dunk. And it’s legal, no travel.

Nobody, however, pushes the boundary like Harden. He has mastered the grey area of “the gather” to give him more leeway than anyone. However, it’s legal, and what Harden did with that three is no different than a lot of his drives to the rim, other than this time the gather was behind his back.

Don’t take my word for it: From the NBA Official account.

Can we all just move on now?