As a Wake Forest graduate, Randolph Childress will forever be the Godfather of the crossover-that-makes-someone-fall-and-then-you-look-at-them-before-making-a-shot move. Childress famously pulled off the trick against UNC's Jeff McInnis during the Deacs’ run to the 1995 ACC Tournament title, adding a little wave at McInnis for good measure.
The move has been replicated throughout the years by many, but no one has quite pulled it off to the degree with which James Harden did on Wednesday night. The Houston Rockets star took this disrespectful — yet, wonderful — play to new heights on Wednesday night at the expense of Wesley Johnson. Poor, poor Wesley Johnson. Check it out:
Three things other than the obvious brilliant move, the made three-pointer and the obligatory bench reaction make this play stand out.
The distance between Harden and Johnson after Johnson takes a tumble. You could shoot a free throw between them.
The time before Harden shoots the ball. Yes, he gives Wes the obligatory stare down, but he also takes a longer pause than Hideki Matsuyama at the top of his backswing. And he even takes his shooting hand off the ball for split-second.
The score. Harden’s three put the Rockets up 31-7(!), setting them up for an easy win, their 14th in a row.
Here it is from another angle!
Actually, we give Wes some credit for not faking an injury or actually getting hurt like David West did earlier on a similar move by Harden’s teammate Chris Paul. In any event, we can’t stop watching. Again, poor Wesley.
And just look at what happened to his Wikipedia page:
Wesley didn't retire (as far as we know), but Harden provided a signature moment of what is shaping up to be an MVP campaign. Just hand him the hardware now.