philadelphia cream “James Harden decided to grow a beard and collect his annual salary in Philadelphia.
Harden signed a deal worth just over $68 million, paying him around $33 million this season with a $35 million player option for the 2023-24 season. Harden, however, will earn approximately $14.5 million less this coming season than he could have earned under his previous contract. Harden had a $47.4 million option for the upcoming season which he declined last month, saying he wanted to give the 76ers the chance to improve their roster and compete for a championship.
“That’s where I want to be. That’s where I want to win, and I think we have the pieces to achieve that,” Harden said Wednesday. “Since my first day with the 76ers organization, the team and the fans have helped me feel at home here in Philadelphia. I’m excited to build on last season and can’t wait to get out there with the guys and start this journey.
Daryl Morey, president of the basketball operations team, posted a photo on Instagram of himself posing alongside Harden as the 10-time All-Star guard known as ‘The Beard’ signed his contract.
“Now that feels like a job to us,” Morey wrote.
Harden’s plans have been clear since the end of the Philadelphia season: he’s committed to staying with the 76ers and helping them improve.
“Taking less money this year to sign as many players as needed to help us fight and be the last team standing was very, very important to me,” Harden said in an interview this month with The Associated Press. . “I wanted to show the organization, the Sixers fans and everyone who supports what we’re trying to accomplish, what I’m trying to accomplish individually, that this is who I am.”
Harden vowed to return after battling a lingering hamstring injury that reduced his output with the Brooklyn Nets, and later the Sixers, after being acquired in a trade deal.
“Over the past two years we have taken important steps towards our ultimate goal of becoming champions,” coach Doc Rivers said. “James shares our desire to win a title, and he believes being a 76er gives him the best opportunity to do so. Together we will work tirelessly to achieve our goal.
A member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, Harden has averaged 22 points this season for Brooklyn and Philadelphia, his lowest since becoming a starter in the 2012-13 season. He will be 33 in August.
Harden, a three-time champion scorer, told the AP he was puzzled about taking “less” money to come back and chase a championship in Philadelphia.
“For all the other players it’s a maximum contract,” he said of his lower numbers, “but it’s like, for me, I’m not the same James Harden.
The 76ers lost to top-seeded Miami in the second round of the playoffs. Harden had four turnovers, four field goals and didn’t score in the second half in the decisive Game 6 loss. They haven’t made it past the second round since 2001. Their last NBA championship was in 1983.
“Coming back and being the aggressor, the scorer first and then the playmaker, is something I need for myself,” he said.
Harden has played in 942 games (728 starts) with Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Houston and Oklahoma City and has averages of 24.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals.
Suns extend contract for NBA Coach of the Year Williams
Phoenix –The Phoenix Suns have officially agreed to a multi-year contract extension for Monty Williams, the NBA’s Coach of the Year last season after leading the franchise to a team-record 64 regular-season wins.
The team announced the extension on Wednesday. No other details of the contract were given.
Williams, 50, led a quick turnaround in three seasons with the Suns, taking them to the 2021 NBA Finals where they lost in six games to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was the franchise’s first time in the Finals since 1993. They were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference last season, but fell in the second round to the Dallas Mavericks.
“I am grateful to extend my commitment to this team and all the people who make it a special place,” Williams said in a statement. “Our players work every day to enable us to succeed, and I am delighted to continue this journey with them.”
Williams was 34-39 in his first season with the Suns, but the team has built momentum over time, winning its last eight regular season games in the Florida bubble of the NBA which was necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Suns then added star point guard Chris Paul, paired him with young scorer Devin Booker in the backcourt, and quickly built a high-scoring, high-energy team that was among the best in the NBA. Since entering the Florida bubble, the Suns are 123-39 in regular season games.