With all the drama unfolding with the Brooklyn Nets, many folks seem to have forgotten about another high-profile free agent who had a player option of his own heading into the offseason.
James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers seemed to have some tension-filled times to start their partnership, but it appears that Harden and the 76ers have found a deal that would keep him in Philly for the foreseeable future.
James Harden has finally found his new home after leaving Houston
It’s been a tumultuous past few seasons for Harden when it comes to playing basketball. After never being able to overcome the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference during his time with the Houston Rockets, Harden eventually forced his way out of Houston onto the Brooklyn Nets. That experiment only lasted a season and a half before Harden was unhappy again, and this time it resulted in him being sent to Philly.
As Harden closes in on a new deal with the Sixers, he took some time to reflect on his tenure in Houston and his connection to the city. Despite being up north in Philadelphia, Harden still feels like he owes it to the city of Houston to put in the time to give back to the community, even though he no longer plays there.
“My family is here — my mom, my sister, my brother — so this is the place I would call home. I feel like this city deserves for me to still put my stamp on it even though I’m no longer playing here. I’ve got to find ways to continue to do that, and I will.”
James Harden, Haute Time
James Harden wants to stay connected to Houston, but does the city feel the same way?
Harden’s take on Houston is certainly interesting, considering how his stint came to a close there. There’s no avoiding the truth; Harden quit on Houston once he decided he wanted to play elsewhere. He was out of shape, complained about members of the organization to the media, and eventually refused to practice or play for the Rockets.
Typically that type of behavior doesn’t go over too well with fans, and that was certainly the case for some fans in Houston. Many were unhappy with how Harden handled things towards the end of his time there, especially given how Houston allowed Harden to become the star that he is today.
Some fans are over it, while some couldn’t care less about Harden. Despite that, Harden wants to get back to being involved in Houston, given his history with the city and that many of his roots, such as family and friends, still reside in Houston.
It will be interesting to say whether Harden lives up to his words here, and even if he does, whether the city of Houston will accept him. There’s still some animosity there for sure, but Harden appears to be attempting to mend fences here, implying that he regrets how he handled the end of his tenure with the Rockets. It will be interesting to see whether his relationship with the city of Houston changes at all during this upcoming season.