On the basketball court, players often express their emotions by doing signature moves and one famous move is of James Harden from his tenure with the Houston Rockets. Fans and opponents probably have noticed Harden’s mysterious “stirring the pot” gesture from that time. This action has an unexpected origin linking it to a record of a Houston hip-hop artist.
The gesture of Harden became popular around 2015, coinciding with the release of “Flicka Da Wrist” by Houston rapper Chedda Da Connect. The music video showed a similar wrist-flipping motion which quickly went viral. Harden, adopted this local hype into his on-court celebrations after adding his own touch.
Harden himself has never given a deeper explanation of his stirring motion. But it’s widely interpreted as a playful jab at opponents, suggesting he’s “cooking” the competition.
This same celebration was unexpectedly made headlines with Bayern Munich star player Serge Gnabry. The German winger took inspiration from Harden and adapted it into his goal celebration routine. For Gnabry, the meaning was clear, just as Harden cooks his basketball opponents, he cooks the defense on the soccer field.
Serge Gnabry’s cooking celebration inspired by James Harden
With Serge Gnabry of Bayern Munich, the gesture of “cooking” an opponent was not limited to the basketball court. His adoption of James Harden’s stirring celebration was a tribute to an athlete who inspired him. Gnabry’s love for basketball, and Harden in particular was well known at the time when the winger turned the basketball star’s iconic move into his own unique soccer celebration.
“There’s a video on YouTube where he’s cooking after dropping, I think, a buzzer-beater and won the game,” Gnabry said.”So he was cooking, stirring it up, and that’s the celebration.”
Gnabry once openly shared the origin of his “cooking” celebration. He related scoring a goal in football to Harden’s game-winning shots. Gnabry stated, “I think there’s a resemblance and he’s a very good offensive player, I’m an offensive player so, I think so too.”
This cross-sports connection was further seen in 2019 when Harden met Gnabry and his Bayern Munich teammates. Gnabry wrote in his USA diary titled, ‘What’s up, Serge?’. “Obviously we ‘cooked’ together.”
The two athletes shared the spotlight in a post-game celebration, stirring the pot together. This highlighted the mutual respect between the athletes and also solidified the “cooking” celebration as a global move of athletic prowess.