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#pounditSaturday, April 17, 2021

James Harden shares thoughts on reception he might get in Houston

James Harden

James Harden is returning to Houston on Wednesday night for the first time since he forced the Rockets to trade him, and it will be interesting to see how the Brooklyn Nets star is received at the Toyota Center. It sounds like Harden is hoping for a warm welcome.

In an interview with ESPN’s Malika Andrews on Tuesday, Harden spoke about his return to Houston and said he hopes to be “received with love.”

“The love and the appreciation that I’ve given to that city and that I still give to that city, I’m hoping that the favor can be returned,” Harden said.

The Rockets tried to repair their relationship with Harden before trading him, but the former MVP was not interested in making it work. He told Andrews that he never thought he would leave Houston but realized he had “different goals.”

“The communication between myself and the front office got a little shaky,” Harden said. “And now I look back at it and I see these other scenarios, other situations that are happening, specifically around other players that are in Houston, in different sports. And their transition is going very smooth. And I would’ve hoped for mine to go that smooth, but it didn’t. I am where I am now.”

Harden has donated money and resources to the Houston area in the wake of the winter storms that devastated the region recently. He said he still feels like he is part of the community and wants to help in any way he can.

We’d expect Harden to get a mixed reaction on Wednesday night, though the Rockets are doing their part to keep things classy. While Harden was a great player in Houston for eight seasons, he wasn’t exactly graceful on his way out the door. Some fans aren’t going to forget that.

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