James Harden doesn’t see himself going anywhere. At a press conference to officially announce his record setting contract, Harden made it clear that he wants to bring the Houston Rockets a championship and finish his career with the organization.
“I know where home is,” Harden said, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “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.”
It’s certainly hard to imagine Harden going anywhere any time soon. He will make $228 million over the course of his new deal, which is an NBA record. That will take Harden all the way through the 2022-23 season, at the end of which Harden will be just shy of his 34th birthday.
Harden’s certainly been quite accomplished since coming to the Rockets following the 2011-12 season. He’s been an All-Star every year, made three All-NBA First Team squads (2014, 2015, 2017), and another All-NBA Third Team (2013).
His Houston teams have also made the playoffs each year but have generally ran into issues in the postseason. During Harden’s tenure with the Rockets, the team has only reached the conference finals once (2015), which resulted in a 4-1 loss. The 2017 season ended with a 4-2 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the second round, while the other three seasons all came to a conclusion with first round exits.
The addition of Chris Paul certainly makes Houston a more talented threat, and Harden has already gushed about his new teammate. But a lot needs to happen for the Rockets to win the championship that Harden craves. Of course, adding Carmelo Anthony couldn’t hurt, which reportedly is a very real possibility.