‘I know where home is. I know where I want to be,’ says James Harden
Published 11:24 AM, July 16, 2017
Updated 11:24 AM, July 16, 2017
MAY FOREVER. The 27-year-old James Harden will make $228 million over the next 6 NBA seasons through 2022-23. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America/AFP
HOUSTON, USA – James Harden, who recently signed the richest contract in NBA history, says he wants to remain a Houston Rocket “forever”.
The 27-year-old American agreed last week a 4-year super-maximum contract extension that means he will make $228 million over the next 6 NBA seasons through 2022-23.
“I know where home is,” Harden said. “I know where I want to be. 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.”
When asked how it felt to have the league’s top contract Harden replied, “It’s cool. I’ve worked extremely hard. But it doesn’t really mean anything without holding that championship up. That’s why I’m in the gym every single day, and I won’t stop until I get it.”
The Rockets signed Harden to the extension despite his disappearing act in the Rockets season-ending playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs.
In game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, Harden delivered a listless performance and game 6 was even worse. He finished with 10 points, 7 assists and 6 turnovers in the elimination game as they lost the series 4-2. That contrasted with his season averages of 29.1 points, 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game which lead to him being named runner-up for the NBA MVP award.
The Rockets traded for Harden in 2012 and built the franchise around him. He has been an all-star in all 5 of his seasons in Houston.
If Harden’s playoff performance was the result of some missing pieces of the puzzle then the Rockets hope to have remedied that with the signing last month of 9-time all-star guard Chris Paul.
Houston is also still trying to complete a deal with the New York Knicks for forward Carmelo Anthony.
“You work your whole career if you’re myself to get a player of James’ caliber and now Chris’ caliber. We’re excited,” said general manager Daryl Morey. – Rappler.com