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#pounditSunday, April 11, 2021

Twitter divided over Rockets’ decision to retire James Harden’s jersey

James Harden

James Harden will be getting his No. 13 jersey lifted to the rafters in Houston, and it is leading to a mixed bag of reactions from the Internet.

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said on Tuesday that the team plans to eventually retire Harden’s number.

“James Harden will always be a Rocket,” he said, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “Of course, we will retire his jersey. He made my first three years of owning this franchise unforgettable. The success he brought this franchise over eight years and the memories he created for our fanbase/community [are] truly remarkable.”

Many on Twitter thought that the honor was well-deserved for Harden.

Others, however, questioned the team’s decision, citing Harden’s lack of playoff success.

The Rockets have retired a total of six jersey numbers in the 54-year history of their franchise: Calvin Murphy, Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Rudy Tomjanovich, Clyde Drexler, and Yao Ming. Three of those players (Murphy, Malone, and Yao) never won a ring with the team.

For Harden’s part, he accomplished a lot in his eight seasons with Houston. He made the All-Star team in every single season, earned seven All-NBA selections, led the league in scoring three times, led the league in assists one time, and won NBA MVP in 2017-2018. Harden also led the Rockets to four division titles and two conference finals berths, including a narrow seven-game loss to one of the greatest teams ever assembled in the Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors.

Regardless of how Harden’s time in Houston ended, those accolades are more than worthy of a jersey retirement. Still, one of those aforementioned Rockets legends sitting in the rafters may not exactly agree.

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