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Tough economic times are affecting everyone and Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden is doing his part to help his team through it. Still, he doesn’t think he gets credit where credit is due.
Harden turned down a $47.4 million player’s option and re-signed on a much more team-friendly two-year deal that saw him taking a $14 million pay cut. He told The Athletic that this move was “the right decision not only for myself, but our organization, giving us a really good chance of putting the right pieces together.”
After the Sixers preseason game in Cleveland, Harden was asked whether he thought he got the appropriate credit for his act of “selflessness.”
“Nope, but guess what? I don’t care,” Harden said. “There’s like a stereotype (of Harden) where people always want to talk. People don’t really know me, so they feel like they can just say anything.
“One thing I won’t do is give them any attention. I won’t say anything, media-wise, publicly. I don’t care, because I’m comfortable and I’m confident in the things I do on and off the court.”
Harden commented that he’s not concerned about the money because there’s a chance to recoup whatever he gave up.
“You do things, handle business on the court and off the court, and the money will always come back,” Harden said. “So, I’m fortunate and blessed to be in the position I am, and I’ll just continue to be me.”
Harden isn’t necessarily speaking philosophically when he says that. His contract comes with a player option for the second year.
So, if he lights it up this year, he can hit the open market and get paid.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle