James Harden on people criticizing how many free throws he takes: ‘Free throws are a part of the game’

David Akerman
2 Min Read
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers superstar guard James Harden is one of the best players in the league at drawing fouls.

Many people are annoyed with that fact and criticize him for how many free throws he shoots each game and the way in which he draws fouls.

Harden recently responded to those critics with a sharp message.

“I don’t even pay attention to it,” Harden told Complex’s Zion Olojede. “Free throws are a part of the game. You look at who leads the league, Joel [Embiid] and Giannis [Antetokounmpo], what about if you take away their free throws?”

The 32-year-old definitely makes a solid point. Free throws are a very important part of basketball. For his career, Harden has averaged 8.7 attempts per game from the charity stripe. Since his first season with the Houston Rockets, which came all the way back during the 2012-13 campaign, he has averaged 10.0 attempts per game from the line.

Over the past two seasons, Harden has been getting to the line slightly less often than usual. That’s surely happened in part because of some of the rule changes the league has implemented.

However, Harden is definitely now more focused on helping the 76ers win a title this season. Philadelphia finished the regular season as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, and it is set to take on the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs. That’s going to be an exciting series for NBA fans to watch.

After joining the 76ers in a blockbuster trade in February, Harden averaged 21.0 points, 7.1 rebounds and 10.5 assists per game on 40.2 percent shooting from the field and 32.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc in the regular season.

Game 1 between the 76ers and Raptors is set for 6 p.m. EDT on Saturday.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate who has experience in writing, editing and video production. He has been following the NBA and NFL for as long as he can remember.