Despite a few boos from fans in attendance during his introduction, there was still plenty of love between Harden and the franchise that helped elevate him to super-stardom.
The Rockets didn't waste any time making that clear. Houston debuted a "thank you" video dedicated to Harden early in the first quarter.
The video made sure to highlight the 31-year-old's work around the city as much as anything he did on the court and the guard was clearly touched by the gesture, walking onto the court during a timeout to receive a curtain call.
Seven weeks after Harden was dealt to Brooklyn, the Nets are fighting for first place in the Eastern Conference while Houston holds down last place in the Southwest Division at 11 games under .500. The Rockets and their one-time star player are heading in very different directions.
All the more reason to stop and appreciate the tremendous run Harden put together in Houston.