Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets

Look: Rockets, James Harden show each other love in Houston return

James Harden returned to Houston on Wednesday night to face the Rockets, his former team, and there was a mutual showing of love prior to tip-off. 

Though it feels like an eternity ago, it was just last season that James Harden all but forced the Houston Rockets to trade the superstar guard and former NBA MVP to the Brooklyn Nets. Thus, when he returned to Houston last year after the trade, the feelings were still a bit raw.

That was much less the case, however, on Wednesday night as Harden and the Nets traveled to the Toyota Center in Houston for a matchup with his former team.

This time around, there was love in the air as, prior to tip-off, the Rockets showed a tribute video to Harden and the fans in attendance before giving him a special announcement and introduction.

James Harden throws up heart to Rockets fans after tribute video

Perhaps the most poignant moment, though, wasn’t the video but what the Nets guard did in reaction to it. Once it subsided, Harden looked up at the Toyota Center crowd, clearly feeling the emotions of the moment, and formed a heart with his hands to show the fans love.

Harden’s tenure with the Rockets obviously ended unceremoniously but, at the end of the day, time does heal wounds and Wednesday night was evidence of that.

And really, it makes sense for both parties to have mutual love and respect. Houston gave Harden great opportunities and helped him to success while the now-Nets star led them to many successful years in return.

It’s nice to see each side appreciate that.

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