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Whether or not LeBron James vs. James Harden is a legitimate rivalry yet, the competition between the two NBA stars was jumpstarted with a kick during Sunday night’s game.

Last night, the NBA announced that Harden has been suspended for a single game without pay for kicking LeBron in the groin during Sunday’s matchup.

The kick, which came in the third quarter of a game the Rockets won in overtime, earned Harden a flagrant foul 1 during the game.

“It’s a reaction,” Harden said of the play, according to ESPN. “They called a flagrant. Next play we moved on.”

The other James spoke about the kick on different terms.

“Obviously that’s not a basketball play,” Lebron said. “Obviously the league will probably take a look at it. I have no idea why he would do that, but two competitors just trying to go at it and he won this one.”

Watch the play in question below:

The suspension will cause Harden to miss his first game of the season in tonight’s matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. The suspension comes in the midst of a five-game winning streak for the Rockets and directly ahead of their playing against the best-in-the-East Hawks.

Dwayne Wade was similarly suspended for a more blatant kick to the groin of Ramon Sessions in 2012. Watch that clip here.


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James Harden Gets The Boot For Kicking LeBron James  was originally published on