James Harden

50 Most Marketable 2018 - James Harden

American, 29, Basketball

The NBA’s bearded one reaches MVP apex

Representatives: Monja Willis

Key partners: Adidas, BBVA, Panini, NBA 2K, Stance, New Era

James Harden, beard and all, collected the National Basketball Association (NBA) MVP award for his regular season efforts during the 2017/18 campaign. In the playoffs Harden’s Houston Rockets team were one win away from doing the impossible and defeating the Golden State Warriors to reach the 2018 NBA Finals. His play and status are reaching new heights.

Considered by many to be one of the most gifted scorers the game has ever seen, Harden is five years younger than leading talents of LeBron James and Houston teammate Chris Paul. Thus, he has much of his career ahead of him, and possibly more MVPs and that ever elusive first championship ring.

Off the court, Harden’s 2015 US$200 million contract with Adidas saw him join the likes of Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving in the elite shoe deal bracket. The iconic beard makes even a silhouette of his head instantly recognisable. In fact, there are even “Trolli James Harden edition gummies”, a candy that plays on the reigning MVP’s signature facial hair. This might be peak Harden. MA

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