Reigning NBA MVP James Harden will face the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo on Tuesday night and Adidas wants the city of Milwaukee to know that Houston's star guard is ready to battle for the award again.
The shoe brand took out a full page ad in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Tuesday to send a message to Bucks fans and those who think Antetokounmpo should win this season's MVP award.
"A message regarding James Harden (which he understands you may not read)," the ad said. "You're free to think James Harden deserves to be MVP. Or that he doesn't. James Harden respects your freedom to decide. He's a free-thinking person. Which is good, because free-thinking leads to opportunities in life. And basketball."
The ad goes on to ask why Harden draws so many fouls and answers "because they're there to be drawn" and says the guard doesn't care if you criticize his step-back.
Adidas published the ad in the Milwaukee newspaper because Antetokounmpo is also a top candidate to win MVP this year. The Greek Freak has put up an impressive campaign averaging 27.4 points, 12.6 rebounds and six assists while leading the Bucks to a league-best 55–19 record. Harden leads the league in scoring this season with 36.4 points per game.
The ad is part of Adidas's "Free to Harden" campaign to push for the guard to win a second straight MVP award.
"The point is, whomever you vote for MVP, it won't change James Harden," the ad said. "He feels free to play the game how he plays it. James Harden is free to be James Harden. And you are free to be you."
The Bucks and Rockets will face off on Tuesday night at Fiserv Forum at 8 p.m. ET.