James Harden's exit from Houston wasn't especially pretty, but the organization still plans to retire the former NBA MVP's No. 13 at some point in the future.
Without naming an exact date, Rockets owner Tillman Fertitta told Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle Tuesday that the team will retire Harden's number:
"James Harden will always be a Rocket. Of course, we will retire his jersey. He made my first three years of owning this franchise unforgettable. The success he brought this franchise over eight years and the memories he created for our fan base/community (are) truly remarkable."
Acquired in a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder prior to the 2012-13 season, Harden established himself as one of the greatest scorers in NBA history during parts of nine seasons with the Rockets. Harden averaged a staggering 29.6 points per game during 621 regular season games as a Rocket, making eight All-Star Game appearances with the franchise. As noted above, he was the NBA MVP in 2017-18.
Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets on January 14, joining Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in an attempt to win his first championship. While the Nets are currently the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, Harden will return to Houston Wednesday to face a decimated Rockets team that has lost 12 consecutive games.