James Harden Says He's 'Forever Indebted' to Rockets in IG Post After Nets Trade

Adam WellsJanuary 15, 2021

(Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cato Cataldo

In his first public comments since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets, James Harden paid tribute to his old team. 

Harden wrote about his eight-year run with the Houston Rockets in a post on Instagram:

"What can I write? What words can convey all the ways I feel. Houston you welcomed me with no guarantees. Took a leap of faith and it changed my life and the lives of my family forever. This organization, this city has given me everything I could ask for and more. Before the scoring titles long before MVP you believed. For that I am forever indebted. The city opened its arms and welcomed me and my family as one of its own and for that I am forever indebted. I gave my mind body and soul in hopes of bringing the glory to the city. I fell short and for that I am forever indebted. Itโ€™s far from a good bye as I pay all my debts. TMC H Town!"

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Harden was officially traded to the Nets on Thursday in a three-team blockbuster deal that saw the Rockets acquire four first-round draft picks and four first-round pick swaps. 

The deal came after Harden ripped Houston's roster and direction following Tuesday's 117-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Speculation about Harden's future in Houston had been an ongoing topic since the offseason when he reported to training camp late.

Harden appeared in eight of the Rockets' nine games prior to the trade. The eight-time All-Star was averaging 24.8 points and 10.4 assists.

Houston has undergone drastic changes since the end of last season. Harden and Russell Westbrook have been traded. Mike D'Antoni didn't renew his contract and was replaced as head coach by Stephen Silas. Daryl Morey stepped down as general manager, and Rafael Stone stepped in to run the front office.

In eight full seasons with the Rockets, Harden was named to eight consecutive All-Star teams and won the 2017-18 NBA MVP Award. He led the franchise to the postseason every year, including two trips to the Western Conference Finals.