Harden Speaks Out

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James Harden’s Decision to Leave Rockets was All About Winning

A month after the James Harden trade there remains questions on where everything went wrong in Houston.

The face of the franchise, a former league MVP, and a player who not too long ago took the Houston Rockets to their first Finals berth since the 1990’s.

Now, the Rockets and James Harden are moving in opposite directions as Harden is looking to win now with a loaded roster of stars in Brooklyn, while the Rockets eye the future with hopes of building a contender around budding young star Christian Wood. Since we all continue to look for answers, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols had a chance to speak with Harden on his awkward and drawn out exit from the Rockets.

“I pretty much reached and accomplished every individual stat or award I can or would want to [win],” said Harden. “It’s always been about winning. Obviously, we fall short and don’t reach the goal. That’s the ultimate reason for my decision and the ultimate reason I’m here with Brooklyn to still chase that goal and dream.”

Harden was moved to the Nets in January in a blockbuster four-team trade.

“I don’t like it all because that’s not who I am. The drama. The extra, whatever you want to call it. The negativity, for me, I don’t really like negative energy. It’s draining. I don’t like how it necessarily happened. I feel like it could have happened a lot smoother, a lot easier. It is what it is.”

Asked if he regrets how he handled his departure from the Rockets, Harden responded with the following:

“No, because I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful. I wasn’t trying to be selfish. I feel like the front office knew where I stood and what I wanted. I apologized for how it went down but I guess I had to do what to do in order to get to where I wanted to go.”

At the end of the day, it all came down to winning for Harden.

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