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James Harden returns: Other notable NBA stars and their playoff homecomings

THUNDER-ROCKETS — With James Harden returning to Oklahoma City as a Houston Rocket, we look at other traded NBA stars who made quick returns to their previous city for playoff series.
by Berry Tramel Published: April 20, 2013

For the first round of the playoffs, James Harden returns to Oklahoma City, where in the previous three years he became a star. The Oklahoman found the five most notable playoff homecoming tales in NBA history; star players who returned to their previous city for a playoff series in the season after they departed.

1. Earl Monroe: An iconic point guard with the Baltimore Bullets, Earl the Pearl forced a trade to the Knicks early in the 1971-72 season. In the 1972 East semifinals, the Knicks ousted the Bullets in six games, and Monroe averaged 15.8 points.

2. Charlie Scott: Scott played two ABA seasons, then joined the Suns and was an all-star all three seasons in Phoenix. Then the Suns traded Scott to Boston for Paul Westphal, and the teams met in the NBA Finals. Boston won in six memorable games, and Scott averaged 14.5 points, including 25 points in Game 6.

3. Steve Nash: Nash spent six years in Dallas, then signed with the Suns as a free agent in 2004. In the 2005 West semifinals, Phoenix beat the Mavericks in six games. Nash averaged 30.3 points and 12.0 assists per game. He scored 48, 34 and 39 in the final three games.

4. Walter Davis: After 11 shining seasons as a Sun, Davis in 1988 signed as a free agent with Denver. In the 1989 West first round, the Suns swept the Nuggets in three games, but Davis averaged 25.7 points a game.

5. Michael Finley: After nine years as a Maverick star, Finley signed with the Spurs as a free agent in 2005. In the 2006 West semifinals, Dallas won in seven games. Finley averaged 10.6 points and shot over 50 percent from the field.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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