Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden did not sign an extension with the Nets, per ESPN. The deadline for the extension was midnight on October 18th. While many were very skeptical and concerned with his decision to not sign, he attempts to reassure Nets fans and media that he’s content and plans to remain a Brooklyn Net.
“There is nothing to worry about,” said Harden as he emphasized that this is nothing to read into going forward.
“Honestly, I’m just focused on getting healthy, getting my body right, and then preparing for a great season,” Harden said after recording 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists in the Nets’ 127-104 season-opening loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
James Harden: ‘nothing to worry about’
Harden’s decision to pass on the extension now allows him access to opt into his $47.4 million contract for 2022-23 and potentially sign a four-year, $223 million extension at the start of free agency, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks. He has the chance to be the first NBA player in history to surpass $60 million in one year.
Last season, was an underwhelming year for the Brooklyn Nets. However, Harden himself was dealing with several injuries on top of adjusting to the new organization and fanbase. Midway through last year, one can see the impact of this injury he battled with. He was forced to miss the majority of the Milwaukee Buck playoff series due to the severity of his hamstring injury.
“Last year was a whirlwind for me individually as far as my health and playing,” Harden said. “So this year I feel like I need to come back and show I am one of those [elite] guys. So I’ve got a lot to prove myself, and that’s all I’m worried about and focused upon.”
He expressed dramatically how much he enjoys the Nets organization and everyone involved.
“I love it here, myself and [Brooklyn owners] Joe [Tsai] and Clara [Wu Tsai] and [GM] Sean [Marks] and the front office and [alternate governor Oliver Weisberg] and [head coach] Steve [Nash]. From top to bottom the communication has been unbelievable, it’s been amazing,” said Harden. “I feel at home. It’s nothing to worry about. For me individually I just want to focus on this year and that’s it.”