It is rare to see a player of James Harden’s talent level be traded twice in two years. And yet, that’s precisely what ended up happening when the former league MVP got dealt from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets last season, and then the Nets to the Philadelphia 76ers this season.
It was a mess.
But as it turns out, Harden himself has one big regret over how things ultimately shook out with the Nets.
This week, Harden acknowledged that he wished he could’ve played alongside Durant and Irving more to see what the trio could’ve accomplished. All in all, they played a mere 16 outings together.
“Yeah I think everybody thinks that,” Harden told Zion Olejede of Complex. “Everybody thinks about ‘what if, what if, what if’ but in reality, things don’t work off what if.”
That said, it’s clear Harden doesn’t look back on his time in Brooklyn particularly favorably.
“Uh, it was a lot of ups and downs,” he said.
“I appreciate the Nets and the city for what they’ve done for me in that year and a half. This is a business and for me, I think my happiness is the most important thing so I had to make the best decision for myself and for my family. But yeah, I appreciated the time in Brooklyn.”
No wonder Drake hates the Grizzlies this year. https://t.co/ShUpgfaweQ
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 16, 2022
It will be interesting to see how Harden ultimately fares in the playoffs this year. His new teammate, Joel Embiid, recently made a very public request of him. Time will tell if he obliges.
If Harden wins a title this season or comes close to it, a lot of the ill-will he built up at the end of the Rockets run and through his short Nets stint will be washed away.
But if Harden comes up short, again, it will undoubtedly permanently tarnish his legacy.