If James Harden was the least bit flattered or honored that a rule change had been unofficially named after him, the feeling was lost when he was fouled without the reward of a trip to the line. Twice in the Rockets' first three preseason games, Harden drove and drew fouls, expecting to be awarded two free throws. Instead, officials ruled the foul was not in the act of shooting, with the Rockets inbounding instead. In New York, officials looked at the video and indicated they should have ruled the foul a shooting foul. In Tulsa, Okla., officials ruled that he had not yet gathered the ball on his righthanded drive. In both cases, Harden was steaming after the interpretation of the "James Harden Rule." But he did not believe it would be a problem. "It better not be an issue," Harden said. "I study the game so much. I'm a student of the game. Every year I come back, I try to be better. A foul is a foul no matter where it is being called. It's a foul. You can't pick and choose when not to call fouls." Technically, there is no new rule related to shooting fouls. The NBA clarified how shooting fouls should be called. For drives to worthy of two free throws, the player must have gathered the ball before he was fouled. On jump shots, he must have gathered and begun his upward shooting motion. There no longer is the concept of "continuation." "Hopefully, we don't have to pick up too many technicals or argue too much," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said on Wednesday, the day the team had its annual meeting with officials on new rule interpretations. "It's a hard call. They just need to do the best they can do, and they will, and hopefully it works out. "It's a little misunderstood. There's no change in terms of interpretation. If that ball is on the floor it was always, if you hadn't gathered, not a shooting foul. Sometimes, they let it go. Now, they have to call it right, if they can get it right because it's so fast."
James Harden isn't ready to cry foul over 'James Harden Rule'
Houston Chronicle | Oct 13