The long term implications of his exit from the Houston Rockets were speculated by every bloke and his dog when the decision first made headlines, but it seems as though James Harden has managed to rediscover his mojo with the Brooklyn Nets. So much so The Beard is apparently prepared to commit the rest of his NBA career with them.
James Harden currently has until October 18th to secure a contract extension with the Brooklyn Nets. And while the juicy details still haven’t been announced just yet, Harden’s dedication to the team is clear as day. When prompted about signing on for a few more years, here’s what the big fella had to say.
“Honestly, I’m taking my time… I’m focused on trying to bring a championship to this city,” explains James Harden.
“But as far as, you know, an extension, I’m just being patient with it. I went through a lot last year and I want to make sure I’m in the right mindset… ultimately I want to be in Brooklyn for the rest of my career. So it’s no rush. We’re going to have fun with it.”
“You know, I think over the course of my career, I’ve never been a free agent before… It’s not about the money to me. I’m been on enough teams where we fell short. So my mindset, my goal is to make sure that we’re able to build and continue to this team to be able to compete for multiple, multiple years at the highest level.”
“It’s not about the money. If you win a championship in New York, the money will come.”
In any case, money will surely follow wherever James Harden goes. When the Nets inherited the terms of his contract from Houston during the widely publicised transfer, essentially, they committed more than US$112 million (AU$155 million) to the star point guard – exceeding the league’s US$109 million (AU$151 million) salary cap.
Last season, Harden earned US$41.25 million (AU$57.6 million), and given how Brooklyn seems pretty intent on creating a super team to not only contend with the Los Angeles Lakers but also dethrone the Milwaukee Bucks – a super team comprised of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, Patty Mills, in addition to the man himself – if all goes according to plan… we might be hearing about some monster numbers soon enough. For reference, Durant signed a four-year contract extension valued at US$198 million (AU$275 million) just a month ago. To paraphrase the commentary of NBA legend Charles Barkley, the pressure’s on for Brooklyn to see championship glory. It’s do or die.
Last season James Harden averaged 24.6 points – 36.2% from the 3-point range – 7.9 rebounds, and 10.8 assists per game (across his time with both the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets).