Fear The Beard
Born and raised in Bellflower, CA, James Harden played college ball at Arizona State and was selected 3rd overall in the 2009 NBA draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder. If we were to go back in time, he would clearly be taken 1st overall ahead of both Blake Griffin and Hasheem Thabeet (who was last seen playing in Japan for the Yokohama B-Corsairs in 2017). Known around the league as “The Beard”, Harden has thrived since breaking into the NBA. He was named 6th Man of the Year in 2012 as he helped get the Thunder to the Finals. The Thunder decided to trade Harden after the 2012 Finals as he became the odd man out on a team that included Russell Westbrook, who signed long-term with the Thunder, and Kevin Durant, who has moved on to Golden State.
Since joining the Houston Rockets, Harden has become one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA. Each year, Harden has been better than the year before, culminating with the honor of being named MVP for the 2017-2018 season. Harden was a win away from getting back to the Finals and it’ll be interesting to see what the MVP has in store for next season.
“That excitement on the court, I’m the same way off the court. I like to have fun, meet people; I like to give high-fives to the kids court side. Just have fun. That’s kind of my personality, that’s how I’ve been.” —James Harden
HOUSTON ROCKETS: #13 SG
HEIGHT: 6’ 5”
NBA DRAFT: RD 1 / 3RD OVERALL / 2009
NBA CAREER STATS: GP 687; MIN 33.8; PTS 23.0; FG% 44.3; REB 5.1; AST 6.1
AWARDS: 2018 LEAGUE MVP
By Steve Farace