James Harden is sorry.
It’s been a month since his divorce from the Houston Rockets, and as he reflects back on it, he apologizes for how the eight-plus years with the organization ended.
“I don’t like it at all because that’s not who I am,” Harden told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “The drama, the extra whatever you want to call it, the negativity for me. I don’t really like negative energy. That’s draining. So I don’t like how it necessarily happened.
“I feel like it could have happened a lot smoother, a lot easier, but it is what it is.”
“(The Rockets are) just not good enough,” he said. “Chemistry, talent-wise, it was clear.
“I love this city. 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.”
He was traded to the Brooklyn Nets the next day in a blockbuster deal.
Harden never reached the NBA Finals with the Rockets and he was sure this season was going to end up the same. Even before the season started, the 2018 NBA MVP knew his time with the team had run sour when he started the year with a $50,000 fine for violating COVID-19 protocols.
“Apologize for how it went down, but I guess I had to do what I had to do in order to get to where I wanted to go,” Harden said. “And credit to Houston, they didn’t necessarily have to trade me to Brooklyn. They could have traded me anywhere, but those are some stand-up guys over there. And it ended up the right way, but just didn’t like how that month or two played out.”