James Edward Harden Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is widely regarded as one of the greatest scorers and shooting guards in NBA history. In 2021, Harden was honored as one of the league's greatest players of all time by being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
Harden played college basketball for the Arizona State Sun Devils, where he was named a consensus All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2009. Harden was selected with the third overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 2012, he was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year with the Thunder and helped the team reach the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Miami Heat in five games. With the failure of the Oklahoma City Thunder to offer him a max contract, he refused their contract extension offer when it was substantially under the max. The Thunder subsequently traded him to the Houston Rockets before the 2012–13 season.
In his first season with the Rockets, Harden set or matched several team records and was named to his first All-NBA Team (a third-team selection), as well as his first NBA All-Star team. Over the next seven and a half seasons with the team he would lead the league in scoring three times and assists once, and was named the NBA Most Valuable Player in 2018. During his time in Houston, he was named to eight consecutive NBA All-Star teams and earned All-NBA Team honors seven times, including six first-team selections. In the beginning of the 2020–21 season, Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a four-team trade. With the Nets, he was named to his ninth and tenth consecutive All-Star games while going back to playing point guard. In 2023, Harden led the league in assists for the second time in his career. Harden is also one of the ten players in NBA history to not miss a playoff appearance thus far in his career.
Harden is a two-time member of the United States national team, winning gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2014 FIBA World Cup.