James Harden’s trade to the Brooklyn Nets from Houston Rockets was one of the most shocking moves recently in the NBA. It received a lot of positive and negative criticism from both the fans and NBA analysts, and the most recent one who commented on that move was former NBA player Charles Oakley. Oakley is known as a person who is very straightforward and is not afraid to share his opinions on different topics.
In a recent appearance on the BasketballNews podcast, Oakley talked about the James Harden trade and how he wouldn’t react positively to it if he were Harden’s teammate. Oakley is that old-school type of player whose mindset is a lot different from most players today. Back then, switching teams after several failures wasn’t a thing, and players tried to stick out with the same franchise as long as possible.
Harden was faithful to the Rockets organization ever since he joined the team in 2012, but after not reaching the finals and only making it to the WCF once, he decided to join the Nets. Oakley thinks that move was unnecessary because the Rockets still had a solid squad that could impact the western conference. He also said that Harden will no longer have the same treatment he had in Houston now that he is the third option behind Durant and Kyrie.
I would call him and cuss his as** out ask, what you are doing? You took the money for ten years, you knew ten years ago yall couldn’t win, so what is the big deal now. If he stayed, you got John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Christian Wood. I think they had just as good a team on the west. You have a rim protector and more of a defensive team, even if you get to play with two great players in Kyrie and KD. I think they still could’ve had a good chance out in the west with that team. If they trade you to a team with two superstars, and they didn’t trade those superstars, he is the third guy on that team. You might not look at it like that, but KD and Kyrie are no slouch.Charles Oakley, via BasketballNews
Oakley is not your typical retired player who only wants to disapprove of players’ younger generation, just like many older players do nowadays. He respects today’s players, but when it comes to some of their actions, like the situation with Harden, you can see his mentality is different, and that is why he thinks Harden made the wrong decision potentially. It’s too early to tell whether that is true or not since the Nets are still figuring things out and have plenty of time to build chemistry before the playoffs start. There is no doubt the Nets are one of the leading contenders to win it all this year, but we’ve seen bigger surprises happen, and it’s not always the team with the best individuals that eventually wins the championship.