Red alert: James Harden knows how to make an arrival — by way of a blaring fire truck.
The Houston Rockets baller celebrated the release of his Vol. 2 signature Adidas shoe in L.A. today with the Harden Invitational event at Foot Locker’s West Coast flagship store on Hollywood Boulevard. The launch party is among the many activities hosted by Footlocker’s House of Hoops, which runs Friday through Sunday, when NBA All-Star Weekend bows.
In 2015, Harden signed a 13-year endorsement deal with Adidas. The following year, he debuted his first signature sneaker, the Harden Vol. 1. Now, Harden sees Adidas’ push toward building its roster of basketball stars as the path toward growing in the category.
“Adidas is really doing a good job, especially as of late, grabbing some of the up-and-coming players,” Harden said, adding, “But the time is coming: You’ve got Andrew Wiggins and a lot of other young guys. We’re finding our groove.”
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For the second iteration of his sneaker, Harden’s focus was on “durability and traction,” he said.
The new sneakers feature a mixed-material upper, Boost cushioning technology on the outsole, and an inner bootie for a snug fit. “We have this bootie sleeve that locks your ankle in, so that when you’re hooping, it feels like it’s moving with your feet,” Harden explained.
The biggest development in the latest drop is that it’s a lot lighter than its predecessor — it’s one of the configurations he was eager to make happen after going through the learning process. “The first time I was just excited about the process, and now that I’ve got a little bit more experience I can tweak some things. That’s one of the things — it’s not the downfall, but one of the things I got better at was making it lighter. Now you’re able to move a lot faster on the court.”
Among his favorite styles from Adidas, Harden said that he prefers “Classic, to the Yeezy line to Boosts. I have a Y-3 collection coming out. A lot of things.”
Speaking of Yeezy, does he see a collaboration on the radar? “That’s an option. Kanye’s on the wave right now, and I’m just getting started but hopefully we can do that soon.”