“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.”
Apologize for how it went down” is a pretty great barely-apology apology. But as Harden says, he felt like he had to do what was necessary in order to end up in a situation that felt good. And the Rockets did oblige him eventually, sending him to a contender that he helped put over the top.
Was there a way that all of this could have occurred in a much more mature and friendly manner? Perhaps. But we all know that’s not how it usually happens with NBA superstars and the franchises that hold their contracts. Either one or both parties are going to make it personal or have strong demands, and that usually leads to some bad blood.
John Wall says Wizards didn’t give him “honesty,” “respect” through trade process
"I said all I ever wanted from the start was honesty. You know what I mean? Just tell me the truth I can deal with it."
Maybe the point is that Harden didn’t actually need to apologize. We all just assumed it would probably end this way anyway.
James Harden sits down & opens up about his new role in Brooklyn, what he didn't like about his departure from Houston, and the Nets' championship chances: "We're more than confident that it's going to be difficult for a team to beat us four times in a best-of-seven series."
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols)