James Harden Hopes Love, Appreciation He Showed To Houston ‘Can Be Returned’

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James Harden said that he’s hoping to be shown love and appreciation from Houston Rockets fans in his first game back since getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

“The love and the appreciation that I’ve given to that city and that I still give to that city, I’m hoping that the favor can be returned,” Harden told ESPN.

Harden admitted that the situation before the trade could have gone smoother.

“It just didn’t go as well — as smooth — as I planned. The communication between myself and the front office got a little shaky. And now I look back at it and I see these other scenarios, other situations that are happening, specifically around other players that are in Houston, in different sports. And their transition is going very smooth. And I would’ve hoped for mine to go that smooth, but it didn’t,” added Harden.

The Rockets plan to eventually retire Harden’s No. 13 jersey.

Harden is currently averaging 25.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 11.1 assists with the Nets.

Harden added that he feels like he’s still a part of Houston.

“I feel like I’m a part of the community. Me now being in Brooklyn, it hasn’t changed the way I feel about that city and everything it’s done for me. So whether it’s trying to feed as many people as I can, get water, as much water as I can to the people that need it.”