Is James Harden turning his back on the Rockets fanbase?

Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

With James Harden in the middle of a stand off with the Houston Rockets, Harden appears to be turning on the force that has stood by his side throughout his entire Rockets tenure.

For the last eight years Houston Rockets fans have come to James Harden‘s defense whenever necessary, as Rockets Twitter has formed a militia, which has been necessary to debunk any of the flawed narratives that have matriculated through the national media. Rockets fans have been ready and prepared to present statistics to put many of the Harden naysayers to bed, such as mentioning that Harden has finished within the top six in assists in each of the last six seasons, which has been important when faced with the narrative that Harden is a ball hog.

Or pointing out that Harden has had stellar numbers in the postseason, when outsiders bring up his perceived letdowns in the playoffs. Or by pointing out that Harden has become one of the best post defenders in the league, when people continue to say he doesn’t play defense. I could go on but I think you get the point.

Rockets fans have become super Harden fans, as they’ve took him in as one of the city’s own, although Harden isn’t from Houston. Harden has received an abundance of support, as he even has his own recognized day, which hails as James Harden Day, to celebrate the day in which he was traded to the franchise.

The latest news surrounding Harden seems to bear a relationship turned sour with the franchise, which appears on the cusp of divorce. We’ve heard that Harden isn’t answering any of the Rockets’ calls and Harden has essentially been in breach of contract, as he’s opted to instead live his best life in Atlanta and Las Vegas, while his colleagues are gearing up for a new start, which makes his appearance all the more important.

But is Harden really prepared for what all that entails? As mentioned earlier, Harden has had an overwhelming support from the city and the fanbase, and a quick peruse of Rockets Twitter reveals a fanbase that has worn thin of his cryptic messages and lack of commitment (or comment) on anything involving the situation. What Harden doesn’t realize is that those same fans who came to his defense are Rockets fans, first and foremost, and will stick with the team in a stand off, such as the one he’s seemingly creating.

Is James Harden turning on the Houston Rockets fanbase?

Why is this important, you ask? Because Harden has sought to capitalize on the non-basketball opportunities provided by the city, as he’s become an owner of the Houston Dynamo and the Houston Dash, which are both of the soccer franchises in Houston. In addition, Harden recently announced plans to open up his own restaurant, Thirteen, which could be a risky move considering his approach towards forcing an exit out of the city.

For as much as it’s been said that the Rockets owe James Harden to grant his request, it hasn’t been stated enough that Harden owes the fans more than what he’s giving them now. But what he figures to learn is that these same fans have united amongst themselves through some of the worst seasons in franchise history, and would unite against him and make him out to be the villain, which isn’t something he’s ever faced and can’t be prepared for.

Harden’s indecisiveness and mixed signals have brought bad national attention to the organization, as his unwillingness to simply show up to work has been spun by many as an indictment of the Rockets being a bad franchise, drawing comparisons to the dysfunctional New York Knicks.

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Harden has alot to lose by going about this specific situation in the manner in which he appears to be doing so, and one of the biggest losses he would take is the Houston Rockets fanbase, who has stood by his side throughout his tenure in Houston, and deserves more professionalism and respect than Harden is giving them.