Like The Godfather, Adidas is set to release their next installment in the popular James Harden signature line. The Harden Vol. 2 releases February 16th to help round out Adidas’s All-Star Weekend drops. With that in mind, lets take a look back at how James ended up with the 3 Stripes.
The Houston Rocket’s guard began his professional career wearing Nike until they chose not to match Adidas’s 200 million dollar offer sheet. At the time it looked like Nike didn’t believe in Harden enough to view him as a signature shoe level athlete. With LeBron, Kobe, KD and Kyrie each having a signature model Harden was kept in the PE lane of Nike Basketball. Now for those with short term memory loss, James still had some Nike heat. His iterations of the Run The One, Hyperchase and Crusader were widely released and even featured in Nike’s 2015 NBA All-Star collection. Averaging 27 PPG and leading a big-city market Harden had become too talented and way too popular for just PE’s. In the summer of 2015 Adidas took advantage of his expiring Nike contract and made him “an offer he couldn’t refuse.”
A signature shoe wasn’t immediate. Adidas started out their relationship with Harden by lacing him up with PE’s of various yearly Crazylight Boosts. First was the Triple White 2015 Crazylight that was limited to 100 pairs being released to the public. The clean, simple, scheme meant to symbolize Harden’s new start and a clean slate.
For the 2016 Playoffs The Beard had some Crazylight Boost 2.5 PE’s released. Unfortunately, the shoe didn’t have a lot of screen time because the Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets in only five games.
Adidas’s timing in regards to signing James Harden couldn’t have been better. With the decline of Derrick Rose’s career the brand really needed a new face for their basketball department. The 2016-2017 season would be a turning point in the Harden/ Adidas relationship. The public has an idea of how good he was from previous seasons but no one knew he would turn into a MVP caliber, triple-double machine. The release of the Harden Volume 1 would coincide with his remix of the position as he continued to score and assist at a blistering pace. Much like his game, the Vol. 1 would mix the old with the new. The leather toe box was a throwback (much like his game) to basketball shoes of the 90’s; while the low cut and Boost tech kept with modern styling.
We will have more on the Harden Vol. 2 in the future. The release date colors look amazing and from a tech standpoint, the shoe looks primed for great court performance. In the meantime, tell us what you think! Did Nike make a mistake not matching Adidas’s offer sheet? Have you been feeling the Harden Vol. 1? What is your favorite PE? Let us know in the comments below!