James Harden: ‘I Want My Step-Back to Be One of Those Moves That Last Forever’

James Harden is determined to make his infamous step-back move one of those that “last forever” in the minds of NBA fans.

In fact, Harden may break out those one-legged joints he’s been unveiling during summer time pickup games next season.


The 2018 MVP says he will continue to be an innovator on the court.


“I’m always trying to be creative,” Harden told ESPN after giving away bicycles to dozens of children at Houston’s Tuffly Park as part of his annual charity weekend. “I’m always trying to get better — at basketball, life, businesswise. I’m always trying to find ways to be impactful. With basketball, you have to be creative. This is my 11th year, and every single year I want to get better. I don’t want to stay the same. You’ve got to find ways to keep growing.”

Harden, whose step-back has emerged as arguably the league’s most lethal weapon over the past few years, said he doesn’t know whether he’s yet confident enough in the one-legged variation to use it in games that count. But that goal has been in Harden’s mind as he made the shot a focus of his summer work.

“I’m not sure; it’s something that I work on,” Harden said when asked if he’ll use the one-legged, step-back 3 this season. “But you know how Mike [Jordan] has his fadeaway and Dirk [Nowitzki] has his one-leg and [Kareem Abdul-Jabbar] had the sky hook, I want my step-back to be one of those moves that last forever. So when I travel around the world and I see little kids that [say], ‘Hey James, I got a step-back!’ — I love to see that.

“It’s me being a creator and me being an innovator and paving the way in basketball in my own way, doing it how I want to do it, and that’s what it’s all about. As a little kid playing in these parks, that’s what I imagined, that’s what I dreamed of. Now it’s coming to reality, so it’s pretty cool.”

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