Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden was called for an extremely questionable Flagrant 2 foul in Thursday’s Game 3 matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. He was asked about it after the game, and he still didn’t really understand the decision.
The call was made at the end of the third quarter when Harden attempted to drive by Nets forward Royce O’Neale.
He seemingly hit O’Neale in the groin area as he attempted to go by him. It surely was a foul on him, but most seem to believe that a Flagrant 2 and an ejection is certainly a harsh decision by the officials.
James Harden gets a Flagrant 2 (ejection) after a shot to the groin of Royce O'Neale. pic.twitter.com/u9uS4PUCqV
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) April 21, 2023
Harden discussed the call after the game, saying that he never received an explanation for the call. He even added that he didn’t even think it should have been a normal foul on him.
“I didn’t get an explanation, but that is unacceptable,” said Harden via Kyle Neubeck, The Philly Voice. “I didn’t even think it was a foul on me. Somebody was draped on me and you use your off arm to get him off you and that was it. It wasn’t like a windup elbow or none of that. I didn’t hit him in the private area or none of that. That just can’t happen, it can’t happen.”
James Harden: “I didn’t even think it was a foul on me…that just, that can’t happen” pic.twitter.com/n08zXeSfvW
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) April 21, 2023
He certainly made his feelings very clear about the officials in this interview. That may unfortunately end up in a fine coming down from the NBA toward Harden.
Luckily the controversial call didn’t end up costing the 76ers. They went on to defeat the Nets 102-97 to take a 3-0 series lead.