Houston Rockets guard James Harden has a large fanbase and it ranks higher than many pro sports franchises. Where did he fall on the list? Let’s look.
Houston Rockets fans — the votes have been tabulated, the research has been done and the results of the word’s Top 250 fanbases have been announced. We call it the FanSided 250 and luckily, there’s a lot of representation among all things Houston on this popular list.
The Houston Rockets (No. 154), Astros (No. 42) and Texans (No. 177) all rank on the inclusive list of fandoms but what if you’re an athlete that’s so transcendent, you’re in a league of your own?
That’s certainly the case with Houston Rockets guard James Harden, who trends ahead not only of all of the Houston sports fanbases — with the exception of the Astros — but also ahead of 56 sports teams that made the cut on the FanSided 250.
Harden’s ranking is not too surprising because of his slick, svelte, points-dominating, style of play that we’ve had a taste of since 2012.
We all know the story — Daryl Morey made the trade heard around the world back Oct. 27, 2012, a red-letter date that transmogrified professional basketball in Houston for the foreseeable future.
Morey was able to land Harden along with Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook, Lazar Howard in exchange for Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb as well as three future draft picks that turned out to be Steven Adams, Alex Abrines and Mitch McGary.
Adams and Abrines have carved a name for themselves in this league but not to the level of Harden, who is truly a superstar in his own right.
Lurking behind the shadows of one Russell Westbrook as the Oklahoma City Thunder’s sixth man — he won the NBA award back in 2011-12 — Morey had a feeling that this man destined for greatness.
So it has been mostly a renaissance for Houston Rockets basketball since he has arrived with the team regularly being in the conversation to contend for the Larry O’Brien trophy.
That’s why Harden is ranked 130th within the FanSided 250 and he’s 22nd among top sports personalities across the world.
It wasn’t perfect for Harden at first when he was the only star on the team, he didn’t pass the ball that much and I feel that he had this huge weight on his shoulders to perform well and prove that with him being the headliner of the trade, that he’d turn out to be something special.
Many of us even questioned his leadership as he was learning how to be the man at the professional level, especially with his beef between him and Dwight Howard in his earlier tenure with the Houston Rockets.
But there’s no question that he’s finally becoming the complete player that we were hoping for even with ironically Westbrook — Chris Paul was his predecessor — as the other piece to the dynamic duo of stardom for the Houston Rockets.
Since then, he has won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award the season before last and he
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continues to shatter NBA records in terms of the amount of points he’s able to create for this team to help them win games.
In addition, Harden has a terrific swagger with his iconic beard and fans respond to that as a unique way to brand oneself.
The debate will continue on if Harden is the man to lead this team to a title but it’s highly-understood that he’s not going anywhere and will retire as a member of the Houston Rockets.
There will be nobody that will wear No. 13 again and we’ll likely see his number raised up to the rafters likely within the next decade or so. But I don’t want to think about that because he as well as the rest of this team has a lot of work to do to ensure that this team gets to the promised land.
We’ll have to see how that pans out but with Harden onboard the future is bright and he has far exceeded the expectations of a beard-less, first-round prospect out of Arizona State back in 2009.
So how did Harden stack up with the rest of fandoms across the world? Take a look here to find out where he falls with others on the FanSided 250.