Things between James Harden and the Rockets didn’t exactly end on the best terms, but Houston still plans to honor the legacy the star guard built.
Rockets governor Tilman Fertitta has revealed Houston will retire Harden’s No. 13 once he calls it a career.
This news might come as a surprise to some considering the way things ended between the two parties. But Fertitta said the team is grateful for what he brought to the franchise.
“James Harden will always be a Rocket,” he said, per the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen. “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.”
Harden and the Rockets parted ways in mid-January via a blockbuster trade that sent the 31-year-old to the Brooklyn Nets. Things were especially rocky between the two during the 2020 offseason, which peaked when Harden was more than a week late to the team’s preseason practices and games.
Harden had wanted out of Houston for quite some time, too. But the team hasn’t been bitter in wake of his departure, and even bid him farewell with a touching tribute video.
Harden returns to Houston on Wednesday for the first time since being traded, with tip-off slated for 7:30 p.m. ET (for anyone interested).