JAMES HARDEN: ALWAYS PUT ON FOR THE FAM
Shoot high and elevate everyone around you. For James Harden, family – blood or otherwise – is everything.
A key creator in our VRCT campaign, Harden chose FAMILY for his VRCT jacket patch. We caught up with him on the shoot in Houston to find out more between takes.
Power and panache make him a superstar player. He’s one of the most valuable men in basketball today. Oh, and don’t forget his impeccable personal style. The beard. The sunglasses. Harden is a busy man: making history, building a legacy, becoming iconic.
But beyond the stats and scores, he’s still surrounded by family and childhood friends. For his VRCT jacket patch, Harden chose the word FAMILY – to represent everyone who’s been there since day one. You don’t have to be part of his inner circle to see the strength of these ties, on and off the field.
Harden describes his tribe as a “power team” around him – and Mom, aka Monja Willis, is the leader of the pack. You can’t miss her, beaming with pride at nearly every game he plays. Rumor has it, she chooses her seat to ensure she’s one of the first people he sees when he steps on to the court.
There’s siblings and childhood friends too, all loyal in the big man’s orbit. Harden told us: “The reason I chose family as my patch is ‘cos, when you look at where I started from and where I am today, and it’s like the same people. Whether it’s blood or somebody I met when I was younger that I call blood. That’s what drives me every single day, what I wake up for every single day.”
When you look at where I started from and where I am today, it’s like the same people.
Not much point in being successful if you don’t have anyone to share it all with. Harden’s not going alone, he’s keen to elevate everyone around him. He says: “You upgrade and you elevate and you bring your people with you. And you elevate them, you upgrade them… you try to give them that power."
So they can go on and do whatever they want to do and be successful.”
He continues: “You got a power team around you that’s successful. Everybody’s happy. And that’s what life is about. That’s what I live life about. And hopefully I can just feed that off and pass that off for people around the world. Because once you get that, it’s over.”
You upgrade and you elevate and you bring your people with you… you try to give them that power.
It all comes down to choosing what you stand for, what you’re going to represent. Inspired? Ok, then hear more from Harden, who wraps up our chat with a call for everyone to rep what’s important to them: “For different people around the world, whatever your patch stands for, whatever you stand for, you can place it to show whomever you come across. Just spread the word, spread the movement."
Whatever your patch stands for, whatever you stand for, you can place it to show whomever you come across. Just spread the word, spread the movement.
We designed the VRCT jacket as a canvas for self-expression, inspired by athletic tradition. Wear it your way, with a custom patch that shows what you stand for. What do you represent?
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