James Harden had a hilarious answer for reporters after getting called out for a blatant travel on his signature step-back move

James Harden got away with one of the most blatant travels in the history of basketball, and it may have cost the Utah Jazz the game.

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James Harden got away with one of the most blatant travels in the history of basketball, and it may have cost the Utah Jazz the game.
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Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

  • James Harden’s step-back move sparks near-constant debate about what constitutes a travel in today’s NBA, but the reigning NBA MVP took his signature move to a new level Monday night against the Utah Jazz.
  • Harden got away with a blatant travel on a double-step-back and managed to draw a questionable foul from Utah’s Ricky Rubio.
  • The call sent Harden to the line with 54.6 seconds on the clock and the Jazz trailing by three and may have tipped the game in favor of Harden’s Houston Rockets.
  • Harden didn’t deny that the referees missed the call on the play and gave a funny response to reporters when they called him out during after the game.

James Harden’s stacked stat sheet against the Utah Jazz Monday night included 47 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and one blatant travel.

With 54.6 seconds on the clock and the Jazz trailing by three, Harden attempted to force separation from Rubio with his signature step-back but took three extra steps after picking up his dribble.

James Harden travel

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ESPN Get Up

Harden didn’t deny that the referees missed the call when he was asked about the sequence after the game, but he had a very funny follow-up for reporters when they called him out.

“What do you want me to say?” Harden quipped. “Tell on myself?”

Fair point.

On the replay, it looks as though Rubio may have grazed the outside of Harden’s left arm, but the travel clearly came first.

Had the referees made the proper call, Utah would have received possession on the turnover with a chance to tie the game or cut Houston’s lead to one point. Instead, Harden drained two of his three free throws and iced the game for the Rockets.

For his part, Rubio obviously did not agree with the initial no-call on the play:

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The rest of the internet clearly agreed with Rubio on this one. NBA Twitter had a field day reacting to the play, especially considering Harden already has a reputation for bending the rules and receiving favorable treatment from referees across the league.

Even Isaiah Thomas weighed in:

And so did this guy, who was clearly heated that Harden took down his beloved Jazz: