James Harden had his first press conference as a member of the Brooklyn Nets right before his first game today in a Nets uniform. That press conference was the first chance for Harden to give more insight into what was happening in the last couple of days between him, the Rockets, his former teammates, and the Nets franchise’s future. His departure from Houston left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth apparently, and it was DeMarcus Cousins who said he and the rest of the Rockets players felt disrespected by Harden and what he said about the team.
In an interview with the press, Harden touched upon Cousins’ comments saying he never meant to disrespect anyone on the Rockets. He describes his situation as much different than the one of new players that just came to the Rockets like Cousins, saying he gave all he had and how he doesn’t believe those players are good enough to win the championship.
I wasn’t disrespectful to anyone. Those guys just got there in Houston, and I’ve been there for a very long time. I’ve been through all the ups and downs with that organization, and 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. At the stage of my career right now, that is what I would love. I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to anybody, especially at the organization, and I’m excited to be here in Brooklyn and excited for a new start.James Harden, via ESPN
Harden regrets he left Houston on such negative terms because he is not the type of person who likes conflicts. After eight years with the Rockets, he realized he needs to move on to a franchise that has more firepower to compete for a championship and will forever be grateful for the opportunity and the run he had with the Rockets.
I regret it because I’m not the type of guy to need attention, especially the negative energy negative attention. I’ve never been that guy, so there are some things out of my character, but the ultimate goal was to get somewhere where I can compete. I have nothing but love and respect for that organization, that city, and everything they’ve done for me and my family.James Harden, via ESPN
Harden will make his debut as a Nets member today in a game against the Orlando Magic. It will be interesting to see how well Harden can adapt to a system that already has Durant and Irving, and there is already a lot of concern when it comes to building up the chemistry. On top of that, the situation with Kyrie leaving the team for the past week is still somewhat a mystery, and there is no timetable for his return. Still, the Nets are a top championship contender, and Harden has a fresh start and an excellent opportunity to finally make it to the NBA finals.