Realizing he was unsure about his contractual obligations in terms of playing defense, James Harden spent this morning poring over his contract.

“I know there’s nothing in here about full court press but let’s see if I consented to playing help defense,” muttered Harden, reading glasses sliding down his nose. “I’m fairly certain I won’t find anything. That doesn’t sound like something I would agree to.”

Harden leafed through page after page of legal jargon, scrutinizing each section of the agreement for any sign he might be on the hook for any effort on the defensive end of the floor. But, curiously, and much to Harden’s delight, he could not find any direct mention of defense tucked among the clauses obligating him to do community outreach and attend team practices.

Harden "performing [his] duties" (Getty)

Harden “performing [his] duties” (Getty)

“There certainly are many things I signed off on to do and not to do, respectively; however, defense seems to be a contractual gray area,” Harden mused. “I’ve got them right where I want them.”

Little did Harden know that as he sat studying the document, the Rockets already had a team of highly paid lawyers working on an interpretation of the language that would compel him to exert effort on defense.

“We’ve got him right where we want him,” declared bloodthirsty lawyer Barry Goldfarb, highlighting a particularly juicy line of text. “He’ll be looking like Kawhi Leonard by the time I’m through.”

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