James Harden insisted Friday he wasn’t disrespectful to anyone when he wanted out of the Houston Rockets and forced a trade to the Brooklyn Nets.
Harden made clear after his final game with Houston it wasn’t going to work out with the Rockets and he didn’t have confidence the team could compete for a title, and less than 24 hours after those remarks to the media he was traded to the Nets in a four-team blockbuster.
During his introductory press conference, Harden said he didn’t feel he was disrespectful.
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“I wasn’t disrespectful to anyone. Those guys had just got there in Houston, I’ve been there for a very long time. I’ve been through all the ups and downs with that organization. And I wasn’t disrespectful toward anyone,” Harden said, via the New York Post.
“I just made a comment that the team as a whole wasn’t good enough to compete for a title. And at this stage in my career where I am now, that’s what I’d love. So I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to anybody, especially not to the organization. And I’m excited to be here in Brooklyn, and excited for a new start.”
JAMES HARDEN SAYS HIS GOODBYES TO ROCKETS, HOUSTON IN INSTAGRAM MESSAGE
Brooklyn hopes that the lineup will soon include Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the floor at the same time. Irving is on the verge of returning to the team after his mysterious absences but won’t be available to play when Harden makes his debut Saturday night.
Harden explained why he wanted to go to Brooklyn.
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“Obviously, you’ve got Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the team, and then, surrounded by those guys, you have really good pieces in DeAndre (Jordan), Jeff (Green), shooters in Joe (Harris) and Landry (Shamet),” he said, via the team’s website.
“You just look at this entire roster, and it’s just built for any style of basketball you want. And then the coaching staff, who knows the game of basketball at a high level. You just add that all together and it’s like, that’s a legit chance right there. It was a no-brainer for me.”