James Harden Jerseys Exchanged in Houston for Free Car Wash in Viral Video

For the past eight years, James Harden jerseys have been an almost ubiquitous sight at Houston Rockets games. Such is the precarious nature of fandom, however, that the jerseys became unwanted the moment that the Rockets agreed to trade their disgruntled superstar to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal on Wednesday.

The silver lining for Rockets fans is they can trade their jerseys for a clean vehicle after a car wash in Houston started accepting Harden jerseys as tokens for a free wash.

A clip posted on Twitter by ABC13 Houston anchor Mayra Moreno shows an employee of the car wash taking a Rockets jersey from a customer, before dumping it in a bin labeled "Trash Harden Jerseys Here."

According to Moreno, the father and son who own the business are huge Rockets fans and were heartbroken by news of Harden's exit, so decided to turn his trade into a recycling opportunity.

https://t.co/mtdCANe3Ji.Wash is saying #ByeFelicia to @JHarden13 !!!

Bring you #13 jersey for a free car wash.

The father-son duo who own the biz said they are major @HoustonRockets fans and are heartbroken #JamesHarden gave up on Houston. pic.twitter.com/NzQ17OhTj2

— Mayra Moreno ABC13 (@MayraABC13) January 14, 2021

The deal taking Harden to the Nets, his preferred destination all along, comes after months of speculation over the 2018 MVP's future, during which Harden repeatedly made clear he wanted to leave Houston.

In November, the 31-year-old opted not to become the first player in NBA history to earn $50 million a year, turning down the Rockets' offer to sign the maximum allowable extension that would have paid him $103 million over two years.

He subsequently held out of the beginning of training camp and on Tuesday he chastised the Rockets for not being good enough after a 117-100 home loss against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can," he said during a brief media appearance.

"I mean, this situation is crazy. It's something that I don't think can be fixed."

The loss was the second blowout defeat against the Lakers in three days and, in Harden's view, highlighted the chasm between the NBA champions and Houston.

"We're not even close, honestly, to that team—obviously the defending champions—and all the other elite teams out there," Harden said. "I mean, you can tell the difference in these last two games.

"We're just not good enough—chemistry, talent-wise, just everything. And it was clear these last two games."

Harden's tirade was as close to publicly demanding a trade as he had come—and it was his final act as a Rockets player.

The monster deal, revealed less than a day later, involved seven players and a bounty of draft picks. Brooklyn sent guard Caris LeVert, small forward Rodions Kurucs and the 2022, 2024 and 2026 unprotected first-round picks, plus pick swaps in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027 to Houston in exchange for Harden.

The Rockets also received Cleveland's first-round 2022 picks via the Milwaukee Bucks, before flipping LeVert to the Indiana Pacers along with a 2023 second-round pick in exchange for All-Star guard Victor Oladipo. Center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince, meanwhile, headed from the Nets to the Cavs, while Cleveland sent guard Dante Exum to Houston.

Harden has been an All-Star selection in each of his eight seasons in Houston and has developed into one of the biggest stars in the NBA, leading the league in scoring for the past three seasons.

Individual accolades have not translated into an NBA title, however. Last season, the Rockets were eliminated by the Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals, the third time they have fallen at that stage since Harden joined.

Over the past eight years, Houston have never made it past the Western Conference Finals, twice falling at the final step before the NBA Finals.

James Harden of the Houston Rockets
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts to a basket during the first quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Toyota Center in Houston on January 10. The Rockets traded the eight-time All-Star to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. Carmen Mandato/Getty