Brooklyn Nets star James Harden has one of the NBA’s most decorated resumes. While he has yet to win an NBA title, he is a former NBA Most Valuable Player, 9-time NBA All-Star, Sixth Man of the Year, 3-time scoring champion, and has been All-NBA six times. Harden was rewarded for his efforts when he was selected to the NBA’s 75th-anniversary team. A collection of the 75 most gifted players to grace an NBA floor.
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Harden Reacts to Selection to NBA 75 Team
When Harden first got to the NBA, he wasn’t even in the starting lineup for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now he’s being mentioned with the greats. For Harden just making it to the NBA was a lifetime achievement. Being acknowledged as an all-time great is just icing on the cake.
“Ever? Wow. Where I come from, even just to be in the NBA was a farfetched dream. To be an NBA basketball player was unheard of. Then not just making it but sustaining it was a different type of mountain you’ve got to climb. And to be one of the best basketball players is a whole different mountain,” Harden said per SNY.
“It’s a testament to the work I’ve put in and continue to put in until I can’t play anymore. Obviously, I haven’t reached the ultimate goal, which is a championship; but that’s what keeps me working and going hard every single day. That’s the end goal.”
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Harden’s Focus Not on Contract Extension
The deadline has passed for the Nets to sign Harden to an extension that would lock him in with the franchise long-term. Although it may seem like a cause for concern “The Beard” insists that he plans to stay put in Brooklyn.
“I’ve just been focused on getting healthy. Getting healthy, getting my body right, and preparing for a great season. The contract and the money are going to be there. I’m not planning on leaving this organization and the situation that we have,” Harden said of his expiring contract per NetsDaily.
“My focus is to focus on the season and winning a championship. The contract and all that stuff will play itself out as it should.”
Harden Wants To Prove He Is Still Elite
As accomplished of a superstar as Harden is, he still is on the hunt for his first NBA championship. He has not been to the NBA Finals since 2012, his last year with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Harden’s best opportunity to win a ring may be this year with the Nets. But for now, his focus is on coming back from injury and proving that he is still an elite player.
“Last year was a whirlwind for me individually as far as my health and playing. This year, I want to come back and show I am one of those ones and I’m one of them guys,” Harden continued. “I got a lot to prove for myself. That’s all I’m worried about and focused on.”
Harden finished with 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists in the team’s season-opening loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. With the absence of Nets star Kyrie Irving, Harden returning to peak form will be necessary if they hope to compete for a title.