Nets' James Harden 'Excited' to Play in Houston for 1st Time Since Rockets Trade

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2021

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden plays during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

James Harden is looking forward to the Brooklyn Nets' encounter with the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, his first trip back to Houston since his trade to the Nets.  

Following a 124-113 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs, Harden told reporters he's "excited to go back to Houston, where I basically had an unbelievable career there."

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"I'm excited to be playing in front of those fans" James Harden talks returning to Houston for the first time on Wednesday https://t.co/FuGWZGTTOx

The nine-time All-Star won't be able to fully savor his return since the Rockets have capped their attendance at roughly 4,500 fans.

Those who do go to the game might still have some lingering resentment toward Harden due to the circumstances in which he engineered his exit. It's difficult for a star player to break up with his current team, but the 31-year-old didn't exactly bend over backward to make the process easy.

His relationship with the Rockets became untenable once he lamented the current state of the franchise.

Of course, Harden himself has little reason to remain upset with how things unfolded. He got the move to Brooklyn he coveted, and he's once again playing like an MVP. Through his first 21 games with the Nets, he's averaged 25.1 points, 11.1 assists and 8.4 rebounds.

The Rockets are now riding a 12-game losing streak following a 101-90 defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers. As the team heads into the All-Star break, besting Harden and the Nets would at least allow it to move into the second half of the season on a positive note.