LOS ANGELES – Superstar NBA guard James Harden And this Philadelphia 76ers They are still ironing out the final details of the one-plus-one deal that will see him pick up a contract $15 million discount. But Harden said he’s “locked in” with the Sixers and eager to get to work.
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Sports on Sunday, the 10-time All-Star revealed why he’s willing to sacrifice financially for the team’s advancement, touched on offseason additions, where he’s at physically and his partnership with him. Joel Embiid He also launched his first signature wine collection, the “J-Horton” release.
At the end of the Sixers’ 2021-22 season, depth was identified as a significant, glaring weakness. Harden and Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey soon had conversations about how the team could move forward next season.
“I had a conversation with Daryl and explained how we can do better and what the market value of certain players is. I told Daryl to improve the roster, sign who to sign and give me the rest,” Harden told Yahoo Sports. “I want to win so bad. . I want to compete in the championship. That’s all that matters to me at this point. I’m willing to take less to position us to accomplish that.
The Sixers signed a defensive specialist BJ Tucker three years from Miami, $33 million; Shooter Danuel House to two-year, $8.5 million contract; Combo picked up guard D’Anthony Melton via a trade; and signed Queen of Trevelin2021-22 G League MVP.
“I think we have a really deep team,” Harden told Yahoo Sports. “It’s something we wanted to address. If you look at our team right now, we have a lot of room for improvement. I like how we stack up against other top teams.
For the Sixers to reach their full potential, Harden needs to return to close to his usual dominance. The 2018 MVP dealt with several ailments last season, including a nagging right hamstring injury.
He faced heavy criticism for his play during the 21 regular season games he played in Philadelphia after being traded from Brooklyn. His stats haven’t equaled his consistent offensive outbursts, though the 32-year-old veteran is still averaging 21 points, 7.1 rebounds and 10.5 assists with six.
“I don’t really listen to what people say. I wasn’t great last season, and I still averaged almost a triple-double,” Harden told Yahoo Sports. “If somebody else had those numbers, we’d talk about them getting maxed out. People were used to seeing me average 40, 30 points, so they saw it as a down year. I was in Philadelphia for two months and I had to learn on the fly. It just was. I’m in a good place now physically and mentally and I’m looking forward to next season.
Harden and fellow superstar Embiid will be tasked with getting everyone on the same page.
“I talk to Joel a lot and we have meetings about how we’re going to play and what our team needs to do to win a championship,” Harden told Yahoo Sports. “When you have two great players at their level in the same team, it’s a great building block. We’ll try to grow together and take this team to the top. I’m sure we can do it together.
Meanwhile, Harden is exploring his on-court efforts.
He has teamed up with Accolade Wines to release his first signature wine, “J-Horton,” available for purchase online and through leading retailers in the United States starting September 1. Retail value is expected to be $16.99.
“Harton and his team will play a role in the creative direction, design and style of the wine. “J-Harton’s label includes bright colors like Harden’s iconic beard and a floral design inside the silhouette of Harden’s face,” according to a news release. “A 10-time NBA All-Star and the third-leading 3-pointer in NBA history, Horton plans to share his personal wine journey with fans on his social media accounts and introduce J-HARDEN to retailers and shoppers around the world.
“I wanted to make a wine that was affordable but had some swag,” Horton told Yahoo Sports. “If you look at the design of our bottle, it stands out. It has some swag. It is different from all other wine bottles. We wanted it to stand out, and then we’ll show you how delicious it is. We have a California Cabernet Sauvignon and a California Red Blend. So there’s something for all wine lovers. I am very excited for this opportunity. I think consumers will really like it.
Customers can register for first release access on “J-HARDEN”. www.j-hardenwines.com.
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