As of the moement, Harden's website is currently undergoing maintenance so we will only talk about his personal and career highlights. The “Beard” as he’s known across the NBA, is a player that has managed to win a plethora of awards throughout his career as a basketball player. His career began in Oklahoma City Thunder, where he was picked with the 3rd overall draft pick, on the 2009 NBA draft. He quickly became a very important player for the Thunder franchise and managed to acclimate with ease. It took him only three seasons to prove to the league that he was a true team leader. On the third and final season of his career with the OKC (2011-12) he won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. Throughout the season, he helped the duo of Durant and Westbrook win a number of very important games. With his help, OKC reached the NBA Finals, defeating teams like Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and in the Western Conference Finals, the San Antonio Spurs. Despite playing incredible basketball, OKC was defeated by Miami Heat.
Harden’s career skyrocketed in 2012 when he was traded to the Houston Rockets, and it was made clear to him that he would be the leader of the team in the future. That year in October he signed a 5-year extension worth $80 million. It turns out that Rockets were right in trusting him to lead the squad since in 2014-15 season he almost managed to win the MVP award. Quickly he had become one of the most feared offensive players in the league, and that lead to him finally winning the MVP award for the 2017-18 season. Harden was only the third player from the Rockets franchise to win this award, after Moses Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon.
This season was one of the biggest what-ifs for the Rockets franchise, since signing Chris Paul catapulted Harden’s game into another level and they managed to reach the Western Conference Finals, where they faced Golden State Warriors. Despite the valiant effort of James Harden and his teammates, they ultimately fell to the Warriors in seven games. If Houston had defeated the Warriors, they would have faced a Kyrie Irving-less Cleveland Cavaliers, and had a great chance of defeating them easily, just like the Warriors did in four games.
The 2018-19 season, Rockets had a really rough start, winning only 11 games out of the first 25. This led many people to believe that they weren’t on the same level as before. However, the Beard had other plans and started carrying his team on his back and has had a tremendous season, leading the league in points per game, an incredible 36.1, while also shooting almost 37% from the three-point line. The offensive dominance shown by Harden helped the Rockets reach the playoffs. After 82 regular season games, they had 53 wins and 29 losses, and had a great record at home, winning 31 games and losing only 10. Every indicator points to Harden being the leader of the team for many years to come.