We spoke with the NBA MVP about his favorite artists, and got the scoop on the Adidas Harden Vol. 3.
A fresh cut from his personal barber, meet and greet with fans at the famed Galleria Mall, an exhausting workout at the Toyota Center and some MVP-caliber cuisine - all in a day in the life of Houston Rockets All-Star and Adidas’ signature athlete, James Harden.
Coming off the launch of his third signature sneaker - the Adidas Harden Vol. 3 - James and the Three Stripes recently gave us the opportunity to take a walk on his shoes, both figuratively and literally.
In speaking with the reigning NBA MVP, HNHH got a vibe for his pre-game routine and favorite rapper of all-time, as well as some thoughts about the Adidas Harden Vol.3, which is tailor made for The Beard’s unique style of play.
When asked about what his pre-game music rotation is like, Harden tells us that his preference changes on any given night, ranging from something slow and relaxing to thug life bangers.
“It depends man, it’s such a long season that I be in my different moods. I’ll be in my ‘90s R&B mood then I go to my thug life Tupac. Every gameday is different.”
As far as his Top-5 rappers are concerned, the MVP is good friends with a lot of talented artists such as YG, Meek Mill & Travis Scott - and, as noted, he appreciates a lot of different styles - so he couldn’t narrow it down to just five. But, the Cali-native did mention that Tupac is his favorite all-time.
“Top five is hard because I listen to a LOT of music. But my favorite artist ever is Pac. There’s just so many great artists out there, older and new, and I just love hip-hop and music in general.”
On his new signature sneaker, the Harden Vol. 3:
“This shoe means a lot to me – my third signature shoe – every year we’ve evolved and gotten better, the hardest part is to have to come with something hotter every single time, so that’s the hardest part, but it’s all a joy and I enjoy going out there every single night in the shoe that I designed, and giving it my all. The challenge is to come back and better every single year with some heat and I really think so far we’ve been doing that.”
Speaking on the influence of Houston and NASA in the Harden Vol. 3:
“It’s very important. Houston gave me this opportunity, and I think if it wasn’t for Houston & the Rockets I wouldn’t be where I am, so it’s always in me to kind of give back, and make sure I represent them well. That kind of Houston Take Off, In Space, NASA idea, can use that metaphor to represent how I create my space on the court, so it makes sense you know, it all plays a part in who I am and what I bring to the table. But we wanted to bring those shoes to life, and make sure we pay homage to Houston.”
After testing out the shoes for myself, I can attest that these are indeed Harden’s best signature sneakers to date. Although, admittedly, my euro step is still trash.
The Harden Vol. 3 features an extended heel counter and a snug strap at the base of the tongue, allowing for extra lockdown on side-to-side movements and control as you attack the basket with crossovers and step-backs. Not only are the sneakers a perfect fit from a performance standpoint, they also offer serious lifestyle appeal as an everyday sneaker equipped with the super comfortable Boost cushioning.
(Adidas Harden Vol. 3 "Mission 13," available here)
As part of the launch of Harden’s latest and greatest signature sneaker, Adidas also provided the opportunity to experience a "day in the life" of the 29-year old league MVP in his beloved city of Houston. This included a stay at Houston’s only five diamond hotel, the Harden-approved Post Oak Hotel, which has housed several celebrity guests such as Drake, Jay-Z and Beyoncé since opening just months ago.
(Adidas Harden Vol. 3 "Cosmos," available here)
When Harden’s not working on his game with longtime friend and trainer, Greg Howell, or getting his beard lined up by his personal barber, @Derek_Goldenboy, you might catch the Rockets' star at his favorite restaurant in H-Town, Vic & Anthony’s. The upscale eatery boasts several lavish private rooms and a mouth watering menu that ranges from prime ribeye and 40oz tomahawks to Texas quail and succulent crab cakes that would make all of Maryland blush.
A regular at Vic & Anthony's, Harden can often be spotted in the main dining room after games enjoying his go-to meal, pan roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. "I stick to what I know... it never fails!" Additionally, Harden recommends the atlantic salmon or king crab with brussels sprouts.
Bottom line, you can't go wrong with anything on the menu.
(Adidas Harden Vol. 3 "Voyager," available here)
The Adidas Harden Vol. 3 is available now in four different colorways, including the recently released "Invader" rendition which you can check out here.
On top of that, Adidas has some special edition designs planned for the NBA All-Star break in February, and the "Supernova" colorway shown below is set to drop at retailers globally on November 16 for $140.
(All images courtesy, Adidas)