James Edward Harden Jr., an American basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA), has earned All-Star nods five times, and has earned All-NBA Team honors four times as well. Here are some facts about the player:
Harden is the most versatile and a dangerous scorer with conversion rate of 84.9% from free throws. He has wide array of offensive moves including Euro Step.
Harden was born on August 26, 1989 in Los Angeles, California. His father James Harden Sr. was in Navy before taking to drugs. His mother Monja Willis was an administrator with AT&T.
He was the youngest of three children and his mother called him lucky after series of miscarriages before his birth.
He attended Artesia High School, Lakewood, California. He led his school to state title and was named in the All-American team of both McDonald and Parade.
Harden represented Arizona State University for two seasons from 2007-08 and 08-09. He was named in the Pacific-10 Conference’s Player of the Year in 2009.
He was drafted in to NBA by Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009 and earned a place in the NBA All-Rookie Second Team averaging 9.9 points in the season.
He started growing beard in 2009 being too lazy to shave. His beard became popular with variety of style and techniques.
On April 22, 2012, in a game against Los Angeles Lakers, he was injured by Metta World Peace. He suffered concussion after being elbowed viciously.
Harden averaged 16.8 ppg in 2011-12 season as a reserve in 60 of 62 games to be named as best player in the league in a reserve role. He was awarded ‘Kia NBA Sixth Man Award.’
Harden rejected a contract extension with Thunders for lack of sufficient time to decide and signed a contract worth US $80 million for five years with Houston Rockets.
He is a staunch believer in Christianity and thanks God for everything he has done in his life.
On January 10, 2013, Harden broke the Rocket’s record of 25 points in 14 consecutive games and was selected in the All-Star game for the first time in 2013.
He recorded his first ever triple double in a game against Charlotte Bobcats on February 02, 2013. He scored 21 points with 11 rebound and 11 assists for a winning cause.
He averaged 25.9 points, 5.8 assists 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game in the 2012-13season for the Rockets to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2008-09 seasons. He was named in the All-Star NBA Third Team for the first time.
His performance in the 2013-14 season earned him a place in the 2014 All-NBA First Team guard with 73 votes. Along with Joakim Noah, Harden captured first team honors for the first time.
In 2014 a short film on Harden’s defensive lapses was made to highlight his reputation as a poor defender.
On March 02, 2015, he was suspended for a game after he kicked LeBron James in the groin.
He won the Most Valuable Player award from National Basketball Players Association for 2014-15 and also made it to All-NBA First Team of the season.
He signed an endorsement deal with Adidas worth US $ 200 million on August 03, 2015 for next 13 years.
In a game against Los Angeles Lakers on April 10, 2016, he recorded the most turnovers in a season. He crossed the mark of 366turnovers, a record which stood for 38 years.
On July 09, 2016, he extended his contract with Rockets for four years, worth US $ 118.1 million.
Rocket’s head coach Mike D’Antoni changes Harden’s position from shooting guard to point guard for 2016-17 season.
On October 26, in a game against Lakers, he scored 34 points with 17 assists to become the second player in NBA history with 30+ and 15+ in a season opener.
It was reported that he was also a candidate for the 2016 Olympics, and that he withdrew from the team.
Harden finished the 2016-17 leagues with 2356 points, 907 assists and 659 rebounds to become the first player in NBA history with such high statistics.
Harden recorded 14th triple double of the season on January 27, 2017 with 51 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists in a 123-118 win against Philadelphia 76ers. He became the first player NBA history with multiple triple double 50 points. This was fuelled by Kevin Hart’s trash talk before the game.
He won gold medal at Olympics as a part of United States national basketball team in 2012 and FIFA World Cup in 2014.
He is currently in relationship with Jessyka Janshel a social media model. They came together in January 2017.
A fan has recorded a musical tribute called ‘Beard Like Harden,’ which has been viewed more than 3,70,248 times on YouTube.
He supports community through his James Harden Foundation. He along with his mother hosted five Houston area families on a shopping spree at Super Target on December 21,2012, to support children’s charities.
James Harden Net Worth: Harden is ninth in the list of highest paid athletes in 2017 with salary of US $ 26.6 million and overall earnings of US $46.6 million.