James Harden on Rockets: ‘I felt like we didn’t have a chance’

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Ben DuBose
·4 min read
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In his first interview since being traded from the Houston Rockets to Brooklyn, James Harden said he wasn’t trying to be disrespectful with his harsh comments after Tuesday’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I wasn’t disrespectful to anyone,” Harden said Friday. “I’ve been through all the ups and downs in that organization. I wasn’t disrespectful to anyone. I just made a comment that the team, as a whole, wasn’t good enough to compete for a title.” (DeMarcus Cousins seemed to disagree.)

“I regret because I’m never been the guy to want the negative energy,” Harden added. “It was something out of my character, but the end goal was to get to a place to compete for a championship.”

Harden said he reevaluated his situation with the Rockets after their loss in the second round of the 2020 playoffs to the eventual champion Lakers, who won the final four games of the series. Most were not close.

“After the bubble, I just wanted to reevaluate my career and the team, and the direction that the organization it was going,” Harden said. … “I felt like we didn’t have a chance [to win a title].”

Harden said he could not answer whether he would still be in Houston, had Daryl Morey stayed as GM. “Really good question,” he said.

Harden referred to the Rockets as an “unbelievable organization” for working with him during the extended trade process and eventually trading him to the original destination of his choosing, the Nets.

Here’s a roundup of how Harden responded Friday to various Houston-related questions, along with complete video at the bottom.

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