James Harden has developed something of a reputation for being a difficult teammate. His relationship with Chris Paul was chilly, to say the least, and Harden apparently didn’t take kindly to Paul’s penchant for criticism and holding his teammates accountable for their actions.
Even Russell Westbrook, a close personal friend to Harden, was reportedly appalled by the way the Rockets organization bent over backwards to accommodate Harden’s whims, an environment that led directly to his own trade request from Houston after just a single season together.
But the saga reached its nadir in recent weeks as Harden continued to try and force his eventual trade to the Nets, in the process alienating his Rockets teammates, who he described as “not good enough” in his now-infamous press conference following a blowout loss to the Lakers earlier this week.
John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins both fired back at that assessment, with Cousins calling his comments disrespectful. Harden, naturally, didn’t see it that way, as he attempted to explain in his first presser for the Nets.
“I wasn’t disrespectful to anyone.”
James Harden opens up about his recent postgame comments and departure from Rockets pic.twitter.com/LEamwbeNwc
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 15, 2021
Harden did, however, express some regret about the way the situation ended in Houston, saying broadly that some of his actions were “out of character,” but it’s not likely that there will be much reconciliation with the aggrieved parties anytime soon. The Rockets and Nets are currently headed in different directions, but both sides must be relieved to be able to put this behind them and move forward.