WATCH: Nets’ James Harden Shares Warm Moment with Former Houston Rockets Teammates

Published 03/03/2021, 11:20 PM EST
Jan 2, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets high fives a staff member during the first quarter of a game against the Sacramento Kings at Toyota Center on January 02, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


James Harden made his return to the Toyota Center tonight with his new team. The Brooklyn Nets’ guard came back to face the Houston Rockets, the team he played with for nine years. It was a big night for Harden, who many consider to be one of the greatest players to don the Rockets’ jersey. And despite the messy exit, it appears to be all love between him and his former teammates.

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James Harden returns to H-Town

James Harden entered the Toyota Center for the Nets‘ game against the Houston Rockets. He was spotted after the game, talking to his former teammate PJ Tucker.

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The duo seemed to be having an amicable conversation amongst themselves, before sharing a warm embrace. It was a nice moment to witness, and one that came as a surprise given how Harden’s exit was handled.

Harden showing love to PJ Tucker and his former teammates 🤝 pic.twitter.com/3i6yiWznq8

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 4, 2021

In case you’ve been living under a rock, James Harden spent nine years with the Houston Rockets. He joined the franchise in 2012, after struggling for minutes in a stacked Oklahoma City Thunder team with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka.

After joining the Rockets, Harden immediately established himself as one of the elite players in the NBA and a perennial All-Star.

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During his time with Houston, Harden transformed the team into a perennial contender. They were often in the Western Conference Finals but had the misfortune of going against the Golden State Warriors, who were one of the greatest teams of all time. But Harden and the Rockets were always able to push them and make things close.

Harden – A Houston legend?

Harden became an MVP with the Rockets in 2018. But after several disappointing playoff exits and multiple All-Star teammates, James Harden chose to leave the franchise in 2020.

He forced his way out of Houston to get a trade to the Brooklyn Nets. The final few months of James Harden as a Rocket may have soured many over his time there, but no one can deny his importance.

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Dec 28, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and guard David Nwaba (2) speak in the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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Will James Harden go down as one of the greatest Houston Rockets players ever? Given all he did for the franchise, his name should be mentioned among the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon and Moses Malone in Rockets lore.

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But given the nature of his exit, fans may not be so quick to accept him as a Rockets’ legend.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1044 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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