As of October 1st the biggest flopper in the NBA will be wearing Adidas shoes on the court and gear in social settings. Nike has decided, just like James Harden’s playing style, they would flop out of the bidding war for a new contract with the Houston Rockets’ guard. The only thing more ridiculous than Adidas pursuit of Harden, is the $200 million contract and what it will mean to Harden.
If you thought his acting on the court was beyond ridiculous, then you are going to choke on this. Harden will be averaging $16.78 million a year on the final three years of his deal with the Rockets and $15.38 million annually from Adidas. Yes, a whopping $32,160,000 a year, $392,195.122 a game (82 regular season games) or $9,804.88 a minutes (based on him playing the average 40 mins a game), depending on how you want to break his salary down. If that does not make you sick to your stomach, especially if you are actually great at your job, if Harden hits certain benchmarks, it’s possible he will earn more annually from Adidas than the Rockets.
This became official today. From the Adidas press release (via SneakerNews.com):
Adidas today announced an unprecedented partnership with superstar shooting guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets. One of the league’s most prolific scorers and recognizable players begins the long-term deal with Adidas which includes an exclusive signature collection, product design collaboration and marketing involvement beginning October 1.
“We’re a brand of creators and James embodies that more than any athlete in the game. His addition to the adidas basketball family is a game changer,” said Chris Grancio, adidas Global Basketball General Manager. “This partnership gives him the opportunity to achieve his goals and express himself in a totally new way as a creator. He’s already one of the most recognizable sports figures because of his game, his look, his hunger to win and his style on the off the court. His ceiling is far from reached, which tells you the future for him and our brand looks incredible.”
“We have a lot of energy in basketball right now and James takes that momentum to a whole new level,” Grancio continued. “James isn’t like anyone else. He approaches the game with a unique mentality and strives to go against convention. When he signed with the Rockets he moved from being the sixth man to the lead man, proving his willingness to establish himself as a resounding superstar.”
To begin the partnership, Harden will play a leading role in Adidas’ global brand campaign which will coincide with the start of the NBA season. He will play a critical role with Adidas to create and develop on and off-court signature footwear and apparel collections as well as marketing plans. The partnership also includes Harden traveling on extensive brand tours in Europe and Asia.
Aside from a signature shoe (should be called the “The Flop”), a Harden apparel line is expected along with branded marketing commitments. Harden and Adidas are also expected to attempt to disrupt the shoe marketplace amid underwhelming successes for the brand.
The Houston Rockets and Adidas have both decided to invest in a NBA player that has not won a NBA Finals, nor will he ever lead a team to one either. Best case scenario, he will play bench role for a NBA Finals Championship team in his final year in the NBA. As long as the Rockets and Adidas are happy to pay Harden a combined $32.15M a year, then who am I to complain? It keeps him off my team, Cleveland. And it keeps him now out of the shoes I wear, NIKE.