James Harden Has Historic Rockets Debut As Everyone Within Oklahoma City Limits Cries Themselves To Sleep

  • Jordan Rabinowitz

James Harden was the third fiddle in OKC. He was nearly the 12th fiddle on Team USA. But on the Houston Rockets, he is Charlie effing Daniels — and he is The Man. It’s just one game, but Harden left no doubts in anyone’s mind that he is the undoubted leader of this Rockets team.

Harden’s 37-point, 12-assist night, including leading his team back from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to win 105-96, must have sat very well with Houstonians who were otherwise waiting for the Texans to return from their bye week — and a really shitty taste in Thunder fans’ mouths. Yes, people, you had this all along.

Not like he didn’t show flashes of it in Oklahoma City — we’ve known him to be a very good player since he entered the league — but he is on a clear path to NBA stardom. Here are some things he did against the Pistons Wednesday night:

(Remember, he finished with 37 points and 12 assists, and Sam Cassell used to be good.)

Must be some combination of vengeance towards Thunder/embracing the limelight. Doesn’t matter, still impressive.

That’s not red for his team color, mind you.

Oh yeah, that guy made his Rockets debut, too.

Again, there’s 81 games to go. And the country hasn’t forgotten his putrid Finals performance either. But if you’re a Rockets fan, you couldn’t have asked for much more.

[@ESPNStatsInfo, Getty Images]