James Harden made a promise he couldn’t keep.
Harden on Wednesday successfully forced his way out of Houston, landing in Brooklyn after a blockbuster trade between the Rockets, Nets, Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers. The 31-year-old now forms an incredible-but-possibly volatile trio with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the latter of whom has gone AWOL and apparently can’t be reached by the team.
Remember: Harden wanted this. However, only a few years ago, the superstar guard promised a Rocket fan he was a Rocket “for life” and never would leave Houston.
Get a load of this poorly aged tweet:
Harden has become a popular target, and for good reason: He has become one of the most unlikable athletes in professional sports. However, it’s easy to envision his getting the last laugh, as the Nets now have arguably the greatest “big three” in NBA history — if Irving ever returns to the court.
Oh, and that last part is far from a guarantee. According to at least one report, Irving is willing to sit out the remainder of the season because he’s mad about something or other. The star point guard has missed Brooklyn’s last five games amid an NBA investigation into his attendance at a maskless party.
All of this clearly is weighing on first-year head coach Steve Nash, who sounds genuinely baffled by the Irving drama. Godspeed, Steve.
As for the Rockets, they landed eight draft picks and, ultimately, Victor Oladipo, for Harden. But it seems as if Houston got rid of one player who doesn’t want to be a Rocket while acquiring a player who… also doesn’t want to be a Rocket.
It’s all very obnoxious and only further makes the NBA a difficult league to get behind. That says, the entertainment value of the drama created by Harden and Irving is undeniable.