James Harden returned to Houston on Wednesday for the first time since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
It was a bittersweet evening, though.
Harden and Co. topped the Rockets 132-114 at Toyota Center thanks to an impressive team effort. The star guard even recorded a triple-double (29 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists) in his 41-minute effort.
Harden received a mixed review from fans when introduced for the first time. He didn’t let it bother him, though.
“I knew that was going to happen,” Harden told reporters during his postgame video press conference, via SNY. “I just wanted to come out here and give them a show.”
Harden’s eight-year stint with the team will not be in vain, though.
Despite the Rockets’ inability to reach the NBA finals, Rockets governor Tilman Fertitta announced Tuesday the team plans to retire Harden’s No. 13. And for that, Harden is thankful.
“Credit the ownership of the Rockets (and) the Fertitta family for putting my jersey in the rafters,” Harden told ESPN’s Malika Andrews after the game. “Hopefully, that shows that on the court, off the court the contributions that I had to this city. Once again, I appreciate the support and love, and the show goes on.”
What he said.