James Harden wanted to be a star, wanted his own team, wanted the money that matched his star power. He got all of that when he was traded to Houston. This was also the case when adidas offered the runner-up MVP a 13-year, $200 million endorsement deal in August of 2015. Nike had a chance to match the largest (at the time) sneaker deal ever but decided to pass.
The signature sneaker didn’t come right away though, as the adidas team wanted to invest time and effort in giving The Beard a sneaker that matches his game. Harden would have to settle for another team shoe, initially rocking the adidas Crazylight Boost 2015 – the first basketball shoe to feature both Boost and Primeknit.
The second version of that sneaker, dubbed the Crazylight Boost 2.5, came later with PE colorways being released (including the one seen above.) Harden would finish the season in this sneaker, with a notable poster dunk on Pau Gasol while rocking the 2.5.
Unfortunately, Harden’s Rockets slumped through most of the season, with a quick first-round exit at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.