Harden rips refs: 'There's no consistency' in how I'm officiated

Jordan Johnson / National Basketball Association / Getty

After getting to the free-throw line just four times in Sunday's 136-125 road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden expressed frustration with what he perceives to be inconsistent officiating.

"I don't know. I don't even want to talk about it," Harden said postgame, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell. "But it's definitely - when I get to the basket, it's the same calls the guys are getting.

"Obviously, you can't call all of them. But there's ones where there's clearly stiff arms and trips and things like that. But on the other end, there's no consistency. So it's frustrating."

In reality, Harden continues to get to the line at a strong clip relative to his peers. His 8.1 free throw attempts per game rank third only to the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (10.8) and Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (10.6). Harden's 7.9 free throws per 36 minutes is also superior to last year's mark of 7.2.

Additionally, Harden's 3.2 personal fouls per 100 possessions still ranks below his career rate of 3.7 and would rank as the third-lowest foul rate of his illustrious 12-year career.

Before the season, the NBA announced that cracking down on "non-basketball moves" would be a point of emphasis for officials in 2021-22. Specifically, the league clarified that an offensive player who overtly extended a body part to initiate contact in order to draw a foul would instead be called for an offensive foul.

While acknowledging the new officiating standards aren't all bad, Nets coach Steve Nash sympathized with his star guard.

"I think there's nights where it's fair, and even including the points of emphasis this year," Nash said. "Then there's other nights where it feels like he gets targeted a little bit. It just automatically gets lumped into that point of emphasis where he is creating the foul, which is not always the case at all."

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Harden rips refs: 'There's no consistency' in how I'm officiated
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