James Harden is one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA. He’s an eight-time NBA All-Star and a two-time league scoring champion. He’s also either a prophet or an extremely confident person based on the note he left for his mother when he was a freshman in high school.
James Harden’s NBA career
James Harden has been in the NBA since the 2009-10 season when he was a rookie with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Harden was the third overall selection in the 2009 NBA draft out of Arizona State. He was selected behind Blake Griffin and Hasheem Thabeet.
A 6-foot-5 left-handed shooter, Harden spent the first three seasons of his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder. During the 2011-12 season, Harden was teamed with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as the Thunder made their way to the NBA Finals to face LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat. The Thunder won the first game of the series before the Heat won the next four to claim the series.
After that season, Harden and the Thunder couldn’t work out an extension and he was traded to the Houston Rockets. He has spent the last eight seasons in Houston and has thrived. Harden has led the league in scoring for the last three seasons. For his career, Harden has averaged 25.1 points and 6.3 assists per game. He was also the MVP during the 2017-18 season.
Harden is more than just a scorer
James Harden is known for being a scorer as evidenced by his prolific scoring average. In the last three seasons, Harden has averaged 30.4, 36.1, and 34.4 points per game, leading the league in each of those seasons. His head coach Mike D’Antoni stressed that Harden was much more than a scorer.
“With James, you make a joke he’s a ‘points guard’ because he’s going to score some points,” said D’Antoni back in 2016 when he switched Harden to point guard. “He’s more or less responsible giving rhythm to the team, that’s what a point guard does. He’s going to be on the ball and he’s going to be distributing the ball and it will take some adjusting. He’s got a lot more responsibilities as a point guard. A play-caller, a good basketball mind, he’s already telling guys we can do this we can do that.”
Harden had no issues with the position change. “My teammates trust in me to make the right decision whether its scoring or whether it’s making a play,” Harden said. “We have a lot of guys who are more than capable to create and knock down shots and that’s what is going to open our floor.”
The message to his mother
When James Harden was young, he would always carry a basketball with him. He even slept with the ball. He also carried a ton of confidence with him.
One night before he went to bed as a high school freshman, he took a green marker and left a note for his mother. The note read: Could you wake me up at 7:00. And could u leave me a couple of dollars. P.S. Keep this paper. Imma be a star. He also autographed the letter.
To this day, Harden’s mother keeps that note in a drawer.