James Harden signed a new four-year, $118 million extension with the Houston Rockets at the beginning of July and the shooting guard believes there was never any reason to leave.
After their struggles last season, Houston looked a bit of a poisoned chalice with plenty of rumours about unrest behind the scenes; particularly involving Harden and All-Star center Dwight Howard.
The Rockets' actions speak far louder than any rumours. Harden is locked in on major money, and Howard has departed for his hometown franchise of the Atlanta Hawks, meaning the supposedly uneasy union has come to a close.
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Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon have arrived at the Toyota Center to add an intriguing amount of firepower to the unit next season, even though they have both had their fair share of injuries with the New Orleans Pelicans in recent years.
Regardless of personnel, Harden told ESPN.com's Calvin Watkins that being the man in Houston was something he didn't want to give up.
"You just feel it sometimes. You got that feeling where everything feels comfortable," he said. "You feel love. You feel like people want you to be here, and that feeling right there outweighs everything. The ultimate decision was to stay and make sure we get it done."
With Mike D'Antoni now the franchise's head coach, many have wondered if the architect of the Phoenix Suns' "Seven Seconds or Less" gameplan will implement a similar strategy in Texas.
D'Antoni had legendary point guard Steve Nash carry out his instructions during that time and Harden sees a little bit of himself in the former two-time MVP.
Harden broke down the comparison between him and Nash, per Watkins: "I got a little bit of Nash in me. He had his own pace to the game; that's what I took out of that. You could never speed him up; you could never make him do anything he didn't want to do—that's what separated him from any other point guard at the time, which led to two MVPs."
Is there an MVP in Harden's future? There is no doubt he is one of the greatest scorers in the game today and could be the face of nearly any franchise. However, how easy is he play with?
Howard and Ty Lawson might argue the ball-dominant Harden makes life difficult for his teammates to thrive, so the Rockets need to hope they assemble the correct parts to compliment the 26-year-old and improve their fortunes.