James Harden hopes to get love from the Rockets fans at his first game in Houston since he has been traded to the Nets.
Per ESPN, he hopes to be “received with love.”
“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 in a wide-ranging interview.
There were months of tension leading up to the four-team deal on Jan. 13 that sent Harden to Brooklyn, his preferred destination.
“I thought I would never leave that franchise,” Harden said. “I thought I was going to be in Houston, obviously, for the rest of my career. Things happened. I’ve got different goals, and I’ve seen a different vision for myself and my career and my family.”
He continued: “Like I said, it doesn’t change the fact of how I feel about the city. But 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. I am where I am now.”