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Houston Rockets: James Harden Benefiting Adidas Even Wearing Other Brands

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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It’s been an odd few days for  James Harden off the court where his style has been under a microscope. Specifically when it came to what the Houston Rockets shooting guard was sporting on his feet.  Earlier this month Harden announced he would be leaving Nike to join Adidas in an extremely lucrative $200 million dollar endorsement deal.

When that type of money is exchanging hands the company (brand) are all in with a player, and given Adidas recent drop in market share it’s safe to assume Adidas is looking for Harden’s star power on and off the court to help propel the brand back into prominence. (Notably Under Armour who Stephen Curry wears leaped ahead of Adidas into second place for the basketball category in market share).

Adidas Says James Harden Will Have To Stop Wearing Air Jordans Off The Court http://t.co/6R3I6Kim64 pic.twitter.com/KU2sO4O1ZN

— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) September 16, 2015

Earlier this week Harden was photographed in public with girlfriend Khloe Kardashian wearing Nike Air Jordan’s which went viral. It created such a stir Mark King (president of the brand in North America) responded by telling interested parties Harden would be wearing Adidas on and off the court as part of his deal.

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The fact Kardashian has been repeatedly photographed wearing head to toe Adidas gear since Harden cemented the deal is a moot point. Adidas aren’t paying her nor is she the brand spokesperson.

TMZ who seems to have expanded their focus from stalking celebrities to include top sports personalities caught Harden (again this week) out with his boys leaving a club early in the morning and posted the video of the exchange. In the full 49 second video it’s very apparent Harden was imbibing and enjoying a night out with his buddies.

Watching the video you hear the TMZ video reporter try to bait Harden repeatedly asking him “Hey James, is Adidas still mad at you?” Harden gets into his vehicle and then lowers the window singing to the reporter. The reporter returns to the car as he finishes singing and James quips “Adidas is about to cry.”  The reporter counters with more baiting saying “Yeah okay, so Nike, so Adidas is not going to be ticked (he used a different word but let’s keep it clean) anymore?” James responds “Nike is cool, but Adidas is about to be amazing” and then he screams “Swag!” and shuts the window.

https://twitter.com/Rockets_Social/status/644235918761664512

While Adidas may not be over joyed Harden has been pictured wearing Air Jordan’s (NIKE) or the red Balenciaga sneakers he was sporting in the most recent video. The reality is Adidas has been in the press more this week for Harden wearing something other than Adidas then they would have been were he sporting his new brand. The old school adage of sometimes negative press is equally compelling as positive certainly has merit in this case. It’s hard to recall Adidas being mentioned this much in years let alone in one week.

Again, while Kardashian isn’t the focal point Khloe, her family and her famous brother in law (Kanye West) certainly draw even more attention to the Rockets star and subsequently Adidas has been front and center in the media.

Harden’s 13-year deal commences on October 1st, 2015, which is when he’ll be mandated to wear only Adidas on and off the court.

So, if you’re Adidas I’d say they should be smiling with all the publicity their new bearded spokesman is drumming up.

On a more somber note, let’s hope this isn’t a frequent sight we’ll be seeing from Harden once the season starts since he will be a factor in helping newly acquired Ty Lawson in his own pursuit to get and stay sober. I’m all for the players having a personal life, but Harden has ascended into a position of leadership on the team, so Lawson will be looking to him for support in his personal endeavor.

Next: Curious Shoe Case of James Harden

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