Issues didn’t finish nicely for James Harden in Houston.
The nine-time All-Star did some issues off the courtroom that rubbed many individuals across the Rockets the mistaken method. Stated some issues in that useless, too. All of that labored collectively to carry a couple of boiling level, and, quickly sufficient, Harden was dealt in a large four-team commerce to the Brooklyn Nets on January 14.
And now Harden is bracing for his return to Houston.
The Rockets host the Nets on Wednesday in Harden’s extremely anticipated return to the Toyota Heart, his first time taking part in in opposition to his former workforce for the reason that commerce.
Harden on His Return to Houston
Earlier than he joined the Rockets in October 2012, Harden had a Sixth Man of the Yr Award on his resume for his efficiency with the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder. However it wasn’t till he arrived in Houston that he ascended to superstardom.
Harden spent eight full seasons with the Rockets, a span throughout which he averaged 29.four factors, 7.Eight assists and 6.1 rebounds and received the 2017-18 MVP.
“I’m excited to simply return to Houston the place I had an unbelievable profession there and play in entrance of these followers,” Harden mentioned on Monday about his return to Houston, per Brian Lewis of the New York Submit. “I’m excited.”
James Harden on going to play on the #Rockets Wednesday: “I’m excited to simply return to Houston the place I had an unbelievable profession there and play in-front of these followers. I’m excited.” #Nets #NBA
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) March 2, 2021
How Will Be Harden Obtained in His Return to Houston?
After eight-plus years doing lots for the Rockets and the bigger Houston neighborhood, Harden hopes the followers obtain him warmly on Wednesday.
“We got here up wanting a championship,” Harden mentioned, per Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. “Hopefully these followers appreciated every part I did on the courtroom and off the courtroom and what I proceed to do off the courtroom. I really feel like I’m nonetheless aside of the struggles they undergo.”
On how he’ll be acquired in Houston, Harden says “We got here up wanting a championship. Hopefully these followers appreciated every part I did on the courtroom and off the courtroom and what I proceed to do off the courtroom. I really feel like I am nonetheless aside of the struggles they undergo.”
— Alex Schiffer (@Alex__Schiffer) March 2, 2021
On the courtroom, the Rockets have dipped considerably since Harden’s departure with an 8-16 file over that span, which incorporates their present 12-game shedding streak. Off the courtroom, the town of Houston was devasted by a extreme winter storm that prompted energy outages and meals shortages across the metropolis in February.
Harden donated 3,000 meals to individuals in Houston affected by the storm. Per ESPN’s Malika Andrews, Harden mentioned he was on the telephone “day by day making an attempt to affect the town as a result of they’ve proven me a lot love and respect within the time that I used to be there.”
James Harden, who donated 3,000 meals to individuals in Houston affected by extreme climate associated power-outages and meals shortages, says he has been on the telephone “day by day making an attempt to affect the town as a result of they’ve proven me a lot love and respect within the time that I used to be there.”
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) February 22, 2021
Harden’s Messy Breakup With Rockets
There was much less love between Harden and the Rockets themselves as his time in Houston reached a breaking level.
Harden, who had requested a commerce within the offseason, was absent for the start of coaching camp with the Rockets whereas attending occasions in Atlanta and Las Vegas. Then, a few days earlier than being dealt to the Nets, he had this to say after a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers:
“We’re not even shut, actually, to that workforce (the Lakers) — clearly the defending champions — and all the opposite elite groups on the market. You may inform the distinction in these final two video games.
“We’re simply not ok. Clearly chemistry, talent-wise, simply… every part. It was clear. They’re a veteran workforce, a championship workforce, the most effective groups that we’ve on this league.
“I like this metropolis. I’ve actually achieved every part I can. This case is loopy. It’s one thing that — I don’t suppose it may be mounted.”
James Harden: We’re not even shut, actually, to that workforce, the clearly the defending champions, and to all the opposite elite groups on the market. I imply, you may inform the distinction these final two video games.” pic.twitter.com/l6WDfBrtNS
— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) January 13, 2021
Harden later expressed remorse over how the state of affairs unfolded to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in an interview in late February.
“The drama, the additional no matter you need to name it, the negativity, for me I don’t actually like destructive vitality, it’s draining,” Harden mentioned. “I don’t like the way it essentially occurred, I really feel prefer it might’ve occurred lots smoother, simpler, however it’s what it’s.”
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