James Harden Finally Reveals Why He Left Houston Rockets For Brooklyn Nets

Published 08/19/2021, 11:21 AM EDT
Mar 1, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) shoots over San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) in the second half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports


Like the Los Angeles Lakers making a super team this offseason, the Brooklyn Nets were in the same position last year. The purple and gold acquired Russell Westbrook to form a trio alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But the Nets did it first. They made a blockbuster trade that helped them acquire James Harden to join forces with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. But apart from not getting anywhere in his basketball career, Harden had other reasons to join this team.

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Harden’s ulterior motive of joining the Brooklyn Nets

The Houston Rockets had just been kicked out of another postseason by the Los Angeles Lakers. While they were hoping to make a better team around their superstar, Harden had other plans altogether. After spending years with the franchise, he made a name for himself in the league. But one thing was still missing. An NBA championship.

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However, he had made up his mind that staying with the Rockets wouldn’t get him what he wanted. So after pulling off some wild antics for which he drew plenty of criticism, the Rockets gave in and he was shipped to Brooklyn. While winning a title alongside one of the best players in the league seemed a little more possible, there was something else that Harden was also focusing on.

In a recent interview, he was asked what his goals in New York are in the upcoming years. Harden confessed, “That was one of the reasons I wanted to come to New York and Brooklyn. I want to build my business side and my brand side more than it already is, and what other place would you do that than Brooklyn? And as long as we win, as long as we handle our business on the court, our work off the court will reach the same level.”

Mar 29, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) warms up prior to the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

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Did James Harden have trouble adjusting to his new team?

Although the Brooklyn Nets weren’t too far from entering the NBA Finals, they did fall short against the Milwaukee Bucks in the ECF. While injuries are to blame for this, their triple threat hardly got time together on the court. But fans and analysts wondered whether adjusting to a new team was an issue for the new joiner or not.

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“There really wasn’t any adjustment. I still play how I play, but now I don’t have to shoot the ball so much. It’s really the best style for me, to be honest.” Harden stated.

“Kevin and Kyrie can always go get a bucket. And, with me as a playmaker, I can think about how to get shooters involved, how to get big touches, how to create open shots. My main focus is trying to get everybody involved and have each guy make an impact on the game.”

Jun 15, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets shooting guard James Harden (13) controls the ball against Milwaukee Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday (21) during the third quarter of game five of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s true that most believed if all three of them were healthy, it could have been them holding the Larry O’Brien trophy instead. But with the team still intact, they will have a go at it once again. But will they be able to live up to these expectations with another superteam in the market now, the Lakers? Let’s wait and watch.

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DIVE DEEPER

After Regularly Dealing With Criticism About His Fitness, NBA Trainer Explains How James Harden Goes the Extra Mile to Stay in Shape

about 1 month ago

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Yashima Bhatia

1471 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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