James Harden was a Houston Rockets franchise cornerstone.
Until he wasn’t. And in many ways, it was his own undoing.
The Rockets tried (unsuccessfully) to put the right pieces around Harden so that Houston could compete for a title. It never ended up working out, and things, as everyone knows by now, crashed and burned.
It was a mess, and ended with him getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Harden admitted he wished things had ended differently.
“I don’t like it at all because that’s not who I am,” Harden said when asked to reflect on the weeks leading up to the trade. “The drama, the extra whatever you want to call it, the negativity for me. I don’t really like negative energy. That’s draining. So I don’t like how it necessarily happened.
“I feel like it could have happened a lot smoother, a lot easier, but it is what it is.”
Now, Harden is in a very different position. On a super-team of sorts with the Nets, he now can defer more often since he has Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant with him. Perhaps that’s an indictment on his level of stardom, that he needed to go somewhere else instead of pulling along the Rockets.
Regardless, it seems like his run in Houston and all the fallout is just about behind him.