James Harden says that he believed he would retire as a Houston Rocket, before ultimately deciding to demand a trade away from them.
The months-long James Harden saga of whether or not he would stay with the Houston Rockets for the entirety of the 2020-21 NBA season finally came to a close on January 13th of this year. The 2018 MVP, who had shown clear-cut signs that he wanted no part of the pseudo-rebuilding Rockets, had his wish granted and was booted off to Brooklyn.
Despite the sour ending to the relationship between James Harden and the Houston Rocket front office, James has nothing but praise and love the city and the franchise. “The love and the appreciation that I have given to that city, I’m hoping that the favor can be returned.”
Harden still has significant ties to H-Town as he continually donates meals to those in need in Houston while also funding various non-profit organizations within the city.
James Harden was firm in his belief that he would go the distance with the Houston Rockets.
In a recent story by ESPN’s Malika Andrews, the now Brooklyn Net opened up about his time as a Houston Rocket, with the spotlight mainly being focused on his last few months with the franchise.
“I never thought I would leave that franchise. I thought I was going to be in Houston for the rest of my career. Things happened, I got different goals, and I’ve had a different vision for myself, my career, and my family. Like I said, it doesn’t change the fact of how I feel about the city.”
“I thought I would never leave that franchise,” James Harden told ESPN. “Things happened… it doesn’t change the fact of how I feel about the city.”
New story on Harden’s return to Houston, winter storm relief efforts, and more: https://t.co/ACQkeNGFZw
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) March 3, 2021
Harden has made it clear that he still has an inordinate amount of love for the Houston Rockets and the city of Houston. After all, he did spend 8 years of his career with them. The Rockets seem to reciprocate this feeling of appreciation as Tilman Fertitta announced yesterday that the Rockets will be putting up Harden’s jersey number 13 up in the rafters of Toyota Center.
“It just didn’t go as well as I planned. The communication between myself and the front office got a little shaky,” said Harden in regards to his decision of ultimately requesting a trade away from the Rockets. Much has been said of the way the ‘Beard’ handled his exit from Houston. James Harden himself claimed that he wished he had handled it better but has no regrets.
With the Brooklyn Nets visiting the Rockets tonight, both Kyrie Irving and Harden have stated that they expect nothing but love directed towards the latter in his first game back in H-Town.