During his stint with the Houston Rockets, everyone became used to James Harden putting up huge numbers every time he entered the court. For what it's worth, Harden didn't disappoint fans much with his elite performances year after year.
As good as Harden was in the regular season, he failed to help the Rockets win an NBA Championship. During his last year or so with the organization, it looked evident that he was fed up with the team and wanted to leave as soon as possible. He did so by getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets and joining forces with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Unfortunately, Harden's time with the Nets wasn't great. This led to Harden once again requesting a trade from the Nets, and he ended up landing in the Philadelphia 76ers. He formed a superstar duo with MVP candidate Joel Embiid.
But due to the fact that Embiid and Harden played very few games together, the Beard was far from his usual dominant self. He still has a chance to work it out with the 76ers, and he proved his intentions to do so when he signed a new contract with the team.
Moreover, he took a $15 million pay cut to help the 76ers get good role players. Harden spoke about his decision to take a huge pay cut in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Sports.
Via Yahoo Sports:
"I had conversations with Daryl, and it was explained how we could get better and what the market value was for certain players. I told Daryl to improve the roster, sign who we needed to sign and give me whatever is left over. This is how bad I want to win. I want to compete for a championship. That’s all that matters to me at this stage. I’m willing to take less to put us in position to accomplish that.
I think we have a much deeper team. That’s something we wanted to address. If you look at our team now, we’re positioned to go a lot further. I like how we stack up with the rest of the top teams."
In the same interview, the former NBA MVP also fired back at his haters. He explained that despite not being at his best last season, he still managed to average almost a triple-double.
With Harden being healthy now, fans expect him to have elite games throughout the season. If Harden can win an NBA Championship with the 76ers, he will have newfound respect from fans who have criticized him throughout his career.