NBA star James Harden pays tribute to Joe Willock’s celebration in Newcastle’s win over Man Utd

NBA star James Harden has paid homage to Joe Willock’s basketball celebration after the Newcastle United star netted in the victory over Manchester United. Eddie Howe’s side avenged their Carabao Cup final defeat from last season with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Goals from Miguel Almiron and Lewis Hall gave the visitors a two-goal cushion at the break, and the Red Devils responded with two changes at the break as they looked to mount a comeback. However, Willock marked his first start of the season following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with an emphatic finish beyond Andre Onana to kill off any prospect of Erik ten Hag’s side progressing to the quarter-finals.

Willock’s joy at the goal was understandably clear, as the midfielder ran to the corner to knee slide in front of the travelling Toon Army. After being congratulated by his team-mates, the former Arsenal star delivered what has now become his customary basketball-inspired celebration as he hit a three-pointer.

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Following the full-time whistle, Willock then shared on social media a short clip of Harden copying the celebration and praising the 24-year-old. The LA Clippers point guard and former NBA MVP mimed the crossover before pretending to shoot his own three-point effort.

Willock responded to the clip by labelling the former Oklaholma City Thunder and Houston Rockets star as the greatest of all time. The Newcastle midfielder will now be hoping to make it two in two when the Magpies return to domestic action against the Gunners on Saturday evening.

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