In an interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN, Harden apologized for his behavior on his way out with the Rockets earlier this season. He showed up late to training camp. At the same time, photos surfaced of him attending Lil Baby’s birthday party in Atlanta.
When the season did start, the Rockets couldn’t build chemistry. Harden’s body language was poor, which other Rockets players took offense with. Harden laid out that the Rockets were “just not good enough.” That quote sped up the timeline for the Rockets to make the trade.
Harden added in the interview that he “didn’t like [how things ended] at all,” in Houston. He added that it wasn’t reflective of himself as a person.
He praised the Rockets front office by point to the fact that the Rockets could’ve traded him to any organization in the league, but instead, they sent him to his desired destination, Brooklyn.
Harden Sick of Isolation Ball
Nichols and Harden also touched on why Harden wanted a change of scenery. Harden said that “having to get 40 points to have a chance to win” for multiple seasons in a row was draining. Now in Brooklyn, he’s playing with other elite scorers.
On the Nets, his distribution has been on full display. There was fear he wouldn’t be able to adjust to playing “real basketball.” However, he’s proved this to be a ridiculous claim.
This situation is similar to what Kevin Durant experienced in Oklahoma City. His surrounding roster wasn’t highly skilled, and the team needed him to carry the scoring load every night. One of the reasons he went to the Warriors was how fun it was to play a ball-movement heavy style and with other great scorers. Harden didn’t want to run isolations every possession. He wants to show the distribution side of his game to its fullest.
Harden’s stint in Houston is in the past now. Hopefully, he can show he is a great teammate and prove he can be apart of a championship team.