James Harden may be a member of the Brooklyn Nets now, but the bulk of his career has been spent as a Houston Rocket. And though his Rockets tenure didn’t end on the friendliest of terms, the 31-year-old will do whatever he can to help the city that made him an NBA superstar.
“I’m on calls literally every day, all day, trying to impact the city because they showed me so much love and respect in the time that I was there. I call Houston home,” said Harden following Brooklyn’s 112-108 victory over the Clippers Sunday night in Los Angeles. “It’s devastating, obviously. This is probably worse than the hurricane because we don’t know how many people are affected, not having electricity, not having power.”
Texas, of course, endured an unprecedented power crisis last week, the result of a damaging winter storm affecting most of the Southern U.S. and even parts of Mexico. Over four million homes and businesses in Texas lost power at one point with Houston especially hard hit. While most of the state is back up and running now, Texas is still reeling from food and water shortages (a citywide boil water advisory was just lifted in Houston).
Through his endorsement deal with Bodyarmor, Harden will have clean water shipped to Houston this week. The former NBA MVP has also been in contact with plumbing companies, who are working around the clock to fix pipes that burst or froze during the storm.
“I’ve been in contact with Mayor [Sylvester] Turner, the Relief Gang [a charity founded by Houston rapper Trae the Truth], just so many people I’ve known that are able to help while I’m not there,” said Harden, who amassed three scoring titles during his almost nine-year stay in Houston. “And I’ll continue that. It won’t stop because there’s been so many people affected.”
Harden’s former Rockets teammate, John Wall, has also lent a helping hand, providing over 1,000 meals for those affected by last week’s storm. Meanwhile the surging Nets have won six straight and 13 of 19 overall since Harden’s arrival in Brooklyn last month.