Friday marked the five-year anniversary of the Rockets‘ franchise-altering deal to acquire point guard James Harden from the Thunder. Since joining Houston, Harden has evolved into one of the NBA’s top players. In five seasons with Houston entering 2016/17, he has been a runner-up for the Most Valuable Player award twice and made the NBA All-Star team five times.
As Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle writes, Harden, 28, looks back at the trade bringing him to the Rockets fondly.
“Five years go by fast, man,” Harden said. “It’s been a good five years, a great five years, the best five years of my life. This organization has shown me so much love and given me the opportunity to show who I am as a person and as a player. I appreciate it.”
Harden spent his first three seasons in Oklahoma City as one of the NBA’s most potent sixth men, winning the Sixth Man of the Year award for the 2011/12 season. Now, Harden is signed long-term by the Rockets as the face of the franchise. That status was unattainable in OKC with former MVP Kevin Durant and then-budding superstar Russell Westbrook in the fold.
Check out other news from teams in Texas:
- Feigen writes in a separate article that Chris Paul, who has missed five of the Rockets’ first six games due to a bruised left knee, had no idea he would miss this much time. Paul banged knees with Mario Chalmers almost a week before the Rockets’ season-opener against Golden State and has not played since the team upset the Warriors to open the year.
- Nerlens Noel was displaced in Philadelphia and traded to the Mavericks last season. While his statistics are not eye-popping, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes that his energy and impact while on the floor is the reason why he could be in lime for a major free agency payday.
- While Noel has been effective, foul trouble has been a concern. Other centers on the Mavericks roster have not been consistent either but Salah Mejri has vocalized his frustration due to a lack of playing time, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes.
- Dirk Nowitzki is in his 20th season with the Mavericks and he is considered one of the greatest players in team history. However, the 39-year-old may also be taking away playing time from Noel as head coach Rick Carlisle is hesitant to play both seven-footers simultaneously, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News Writes.