James Harden doesn’t plan on leaving Houston, ever.
James Harden had an absolutely unbelievable year last season. He finished 2nd in points (29.1) 1st in assists (11.2) and 2nd in MVP voting. After some said the Rockets were nothing more than a low seed playoff team, Harden led Houston to the third best record in the NBA.
And The Beard was handsomely rewarded for his efforts. Houston signed Harden to a record four-year, $170 million contract extension. James will make $228 million over the next six years of his contract, and for Houston, he’s worth every penny.
When James Harden was traded from Oklahoma City to Houston back in 2012, he went from the sixth man to the lead role. After acquiring Dwight Howard in 2013, the Rockets looked like a squad that would make serious noise in the playoffs for years to come.
It didn’t quite work out as planned. The Rockets struggled to gain any momentum in the 2015-16 season. They won as many games as they lost and finished the regular season as the eighth seed in the West. Golden State plummeted Houston in five games and Dwight Howard was traded to Atlanta.
Of course, Houston acquired an even bigger superstar this offseason in Chris Paul. The Rockets will work endlessly until they build a title contending team, that’s what they’ve shown James Harden. And he doesn’t plan on bolting for another city anytime soon, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
“I know where home is, I know where I want to be,” said Harden. “I know where I want to retire ultimately and where I want to win a championship. Everything is going to happen here in Houston, and that’s the reason I’m here forever.”
Can the Harden-Paul duo co-exist?
You need superstar talent to win in the NBA, but that talent also needs chemistry and a cohesive offensive system to really thrive. James Harden and Chris Paul are two ball-dominant guards, so how will they fit together in Houston? James doesn’t seem too worried, per MacMahon.
“I don’t think anybody’s ever seen anything like this before,” Harden said. “Two guys that can create and facilitate and do things with the ball that nobody’s done from the [point guard] and shooting guard position. It’s going to be fun.”
We may not understand exactly how the two will co-exist on the floor, and they probably don’t either. Harden and Paul are two of the smartest players in the league playing for a coach that is an offensive wizard. If any team could pair two star points guards together and make it work, it’s the one in Houston.
The Rockets have had a very successful offseason. They improved an already great team, built the most unique backcourt in the league and will once again grace the top of the standings.
Despite the recent success and lucrative contracts, James Harden’s thoughts are always centered on winning a championship, per The Associated Press’ Kristie Rieken.
“Money is cool … but it doesn’t really mean anything without holding that championship up,” Harden said. “So that’s what we’re working toward. That’s why I’m in the gym every single day and I won’t stop until I get it.”