The end of the James Harden era in Houston has been a painful one, there’s no doubt about that. That’s often the case when a star player leaves an organization with what feels like unfinished business left on the table. It’s especially true when the situation devolves to the point of trade demands and ugly losses and weeks of rumors and cross words.
It’s debatable how much of that drama is necessary to hasten the conclusion, but regardless, there’s going to be some hard feelings involved. That’s just how fandom, and breakups, work. Still, it’s nice when one side at least tries to take the high road. That’s what Harden did with his latest social media post thanking the city of Houston for taking a chance on him.
And he has a lot to be grateful for. It’s true that few could’ve predicted that Harden would turn in to one of the most lethal scorers of all time just based on his first few seasons in OKC, and both the city and organization embraced him from the start and have stuck with him through all the ups and downs.
James Harden thanks Houston pic.twitter.com/WOpYWbfgnP
— Undefeated without Harden (@DreamShakeSBN) January 15, 2021
But for a certain segment of Rockets fan, these sentiments will always ring somewhat hollow. It’ll be hard to erase the memory of the ugly playoff losses during which he failed to rise to the occasion. Harden acknowledges in his message that he fell short of his ultimate goal of bringing a championship to the city, but it’s a debt that he won’t soon payoff, unless somewhere down the line he decided to return to Houston for one more shot. After all, he says it’s “far from a goodbye.”
Still, the message brings finality to his time in Houston and opens the door on a new chapter in Brooklyn, where he’ll rejoin one of his former teammates in OKC and instantly become the favorites to win the East. Time will tell if he can accomplish there what he was never able to do in Houston.