ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell is reporting Adidas has offered the Houston Rockets guard a 13-year, $200 million endorsement contract to leave rival Nike.
Rovell later shared a statement from Adidas regarding the company’s offer to Harden:
Harden’s contract with Nike recently expired without an extension, opening an opportunity for its competitor to pounce. If Nike does not match the deal in the next week, Adidas would likely use Harden as its chief endorser in the coming years, a role originally intended for Bulls guard Derrick Rose before his injury issues.
Harden, 25, averaged 27.4 points, seven assists and 5.7 rebounds per game last season, leading the Rockets to the Western Conference’s No. 2 seed. He finished second behind Golden State’s Stephen Curry in the media MVP voting but was given the league’s top honor by his peers.
Despite his ascent to the sport’s pinnacle, Harden is an interesting choice as a brand endorser. Unlike a majority of top-selling stars, his game doesn’t have an instantly brandable trait.
Harden thrives in the ugly middle ground, contorting his body and bouncing off defenders to force his way to the free-throw line. Efficiency may be the calling card of the Rockets organization, but it’s a more difficult sell to fans who are drawn to high-flying dunks and fluttering threes.