ESPN the Magazine Article featuring Harden and CP3

by Jackie MacMullan

An excerpt from the cover story by Jackie MacMullan of ESPN The Magazine's Oct. 30 NBA Preview issue

Now, on June 25, Harden was dining with friends in LA when his phone lit up. Again. He glanced at his caller ID and excused himself from the table.

"Gotta take this one," he said. When he stepped outside, the name on the screen gleamed back at him: Chris Paul.

"I'm in," Paul said.

"What do you mean you're in?" Harden asked. Harden and Paul were friends, and they had traded texts throughout the season. CP3, he knew, was examining his pending free agent options, and Harden was hopeful Houston was on Paul's short list, but he was in the dark about where Paul was leaning.

"I mean I'm in," Paul repeated. "I want to come to Houston. I want to play with you."


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