James Harden made things as difficult as possible for the Houston Rockets before they ultimately traded him to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday afternoon.
On Tuesday night, following his team’s embarrassing loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Harden once again reiterated how done he was with the Rockets.
“I love this city,” he said. “I literally have done everything that I can. I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”
In the aftermath, Rockets head coach Stephen Silas told reporters that Harden would no longer be welcome at practice.
“We felt that it was best for the group and best for James not to come to practice,” he said, per ESPN.
While Silas handled the situation as calmly as humanly possible, some of Harden’s teammates were not as patient. Namely: newly-signed big man DeMarcus Cousins.
“The disrespect started way before any interview,” he said of Harden’s antics on Tuesday night, per ESPN.
As far as Cousins is concerned, the selfishness exhibited by Harden reached a boiling point.
“The other 14 guys [in] the locker room have done nothing to him. We’ve only showed up to work like everyone else. It’s completely unfair to the rest of the guys in the locker room.”
“I don’t feel betrayed at all. My interest was with playing with John Wall, to be brutally honest.”
DeMarcus Cousins on if he feels betrayed by James Harden. pic.twitter.com/yRlyOFw0In
— ESPN (@espn) January 13, 2021
On Wednesday, Houston finally pulled the trigger on a deal. The Nets sent the Rockets a package that included several players and draft picks, plus Caris LeVert, who was then traded to the Indiana Pacers for Victor Oladipo.
Center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince were then traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, while Houston received Cleveland guard Dante Exum and Brooklyn forward Rodions Kurucs.
The Rockets also got Brooklyn’s three unprotected first-round draft picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026, as well as pick swaps in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027. On top of that, Houston also received Cleveland’s 2022 first-round pick, via the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Rockets are sending a 2023 second-round pick to the Pacers. Brooklyn also got a 2024 second-round pick from the Cavaliers.
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
As much as Harden may believe that he gave all he had to Houston, the way he has gone about choreographing his exit likely took a sledgehammer to any built up goodwill.
Whether he likes it not, Harden’s legacy will forever be stained by what has taken place over the past few months.