James Harden has plenty of tricks in his bag, but he actually took some time to learn some new moves from AND1 Mixtape legends The Professor and Bone Collector this offseason.
During a January video shoot promoting EA Sports’ Live 19 All-Star Edition game, The Professor and Bone Collector – also known as Grayson Boucher and Larry Williams – were at Toyota Center and put in some work with Harden.
In a short clip tweeted by Bleacher Report’s Thomas Duffy, the AND1 Mixtape gurus work with Harden on a move that would have him take the ball between his legs, then behind his back and flip it through the legs of his defender.
“In a real game?,” Harden says after pulling off the move. “…I need like a little iPad with all these moves on it.”
The complete 14-minute video is available on YouTube.
“I tell everybody that I think James Harden’s handle is really underrated and if anybody’s gonna pull this off, I think he could because he’s got a lot of ball control and he’s really deceptive with it,” Boucher says in the video.
The 76ers’ Joel Embiid is with Harden on the cover of EA Sports’ Live 19 All-Star edition, available now. The game includes several All-Star themed additions as well as playable characters like The Professor and Bone Collector. You also can unlock their moves to play with your own created player.
In an interview with EASports (full story here), Harden talked about the necessity of adding moves to his game.
“Even last year, I was doing the stepback, but not quite as much. And now, teams are guarding me different. So, if teams are guarding you different, you’ve got to find ways to still impact the game at the same level or even better,” Harden said. “The stepback is a move that creates separation, and it helps me gain an advantage to make my teammates better.
I still do the same things I’m doing at even a higher rate. Next year, it’ll be another move, or it’ll be something different. You have to evolve, you have to continue to get better with the game, or else you’re just going to be stuck behind and people will forget about you.”
Boucher played high school basketball in Oregon and a little community college ball before earning fame for his fancy ball-handling skills on the AND1 Mixtape videos that led to tours around the country.
Williams, called the “Bone Collector” for his tendency to figuratively break his defenders’ ankles, played at Chaffey Community College in California, but became known as a Rucker Park legend in New York.