James Harden says he’s not a quitter after leaving the Nets

James Harden, who has quit multiple teams, doesn't want you to think of him as a quitter.

James Harden, who has quit multiple teams, doesn’t want you to think of him as a quitter.
Photo: PA

Following Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant’s blockbuster trades, a former member of those Brooklyn Nets teams is speaking out and trying to clear himself of any wrongdoing. James Harden was among three Brooklyn bigs who were a big toe away from Durant making it to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2021 playoffs. A year later, Harden battled his way out from Brooklyn, land in Philadelphia, and was lambasted for it. A year after the 76ers trade, Harden throws his hands up, saying, “Look, you can’t blame me.”

“I don’t look crazy. I don’t look like the guy or the quitter… I knew what was going on, and I just decided I wasn’t cut out for it. I don’t want to deal with that. I want to play basketball and have fun.

Now that everything has fallen apart in Brooklyn, Harden comes out and can play the good guy. Obviously, he heard what the fans, the media and even some players were saying after he abruptly bounced off KD and Kyrie at the trade deadline just 12 months ago. Harden uses the ‘q’ word regarding this situation, and it was dumped shortly after it came out.

Not his first rodeo

At the time, Nets players weren’t too happy with the situation, although they now deny it. Whether or not anyone believes Harden left Brooklyn, one thing can’t be denied is that this wasn’t the first time he’s been accused of it. Does anyone remember Houston? The way this former MVP mandate ended with the Rockets wasn’t exactly handled gracefully.

Ask John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins ‚Äč‚Äčabout the Location in Houston in the final days of Harden’s race. None of them were happy with the way Harden left and threw everyone except General Manager Daryl Morey under the bus and backed them off on the way out.

Suddenly, because things have completely fallen apart in Brooklyn, Harden now wants to present himself as the good guy. Yes, there were problems within the Nets organization, and some still persist. But Harden traveled there to play with Durant again, forming a big line with him and Irving in their bid for a title shot. We all have opinions about Durant and Irving, but at least they can say they tried to make it work. There was a ton of drama, no doubt, but Kyrie and KD haven’t left after a year.

Durant and Irving asked for trades, and Harden now thinks that puts them on the same level. Timing plays a big part in that as they were in Brooklyn for several years while Harden barely lasted 12 months with the team. If it’s dysfunctional, that’s understandable. But don’t come back after the fact acting like Mr. Perfect in the situation, especially when you’ve done something similar with another team. Harden would have been better off not responding and letting the fallout speak for itself.

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