Houston was interested. So were Brooklyn and the New York Knicks. “I took less to come back here,” he said. “… I’m not taking this for granted. I was on a team where it was very bad. There are only four or five teams in the league with a realistic chance to win this year, and I think we’re one of them. I’m not taking this for granted. I know if I go somewhere else, I might not ever be on a team like this again. A lot of people go their whole career and never play on a team like this.”
After all of the points he has scored (11,262 in seven seasons), we know he doesn’t necessarily burst into a sunbeam after a basket or a pair of free throws. Perhaps it’s because what makes Harden happier is helping his teammates score. He’s about to do more of that than anyone has ever seen. “You see the joy in my teammates getting shots and making shots,” Harden recently told Bleacher Report. “They’re comfortable. Everybody’s happy. When they’re happy, I’m happy. It’s a different vibe. We’re sacrificing for each other. That’s where we are. We’ve got a long way to go, but for now it feels good.”
“Faith” is the word both used to describe their relationship—faith in Harden to be more amazing than ever by being more inclusive than ever. “He’s a lot better than even what I thought, and I thought that was a lot,” D’Antoni said. “He’s one of the best pick-and-roll guys I’ve seen. He’s a terrific passer, not just a good one. He’s a terrific passer.” Even more important is the desire to pass. “He has a willingness and a want to,” D’Antoni said.
Adidas threw a huge sum of money at Houston Rockets point guard James Harden when it signed him away from Nike in 2015, giving him a reported $200 million contract. But, in an interview with Sole Collector at the release event for his new signature shoe over the weekend, Harden said that wasn’t what motivated him to make the switch. “It’s not about the money, it’s about the voice,” Harden said. “It’s about creating. It’s about the things I have in my hand, designing and wanting it to get out so people around the world can get it and get a taste for it.”