James Harden sounds off on NBA rule change that has limited his free throws

James Harden is an expert at drawing fouls, but a rule change over the summer has hindered Harden’s ability to get to the line. Referees have been instructed to not call fouls drawn by unnatural motions, such as an offensive player leaning or jumping into contact.

After a loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday, the 32-year-old opened up about being the poster boy of the rule change. In four games this season, Harden is averaging just three free-throw attempts per game. Harden averaged double-digit free-throw attempts per game from 2018-2020.

“I’m not the type to complain about it. I asked every official if they see a foul just call a foul,” Harden said. “Sometimes I feel like coming into a game it’s already predetermined. I already have that stigma of getting foul calls – A foul is a foul no matter what league it is.”

Harden’s minutes in the first quarter also seem to be frustrating him. Harden appeared to be unhappy after being subbed out sooner than he wanted on during Tuesday’s game against the Wizards.

Keep in mind, Harden did average over 35 minutes in every season since 2012. So far this year, he’s only averaging 33, but it is just the beginning of the campaign.