James Harden went through several obstacles during the past summer after his relationship with the Philadelphia 76ers fell apart. Harden reiterated that the Sixers did not want to offer him a max extension, while admitted that joining the Houston Rockets was a serious possibility last summer in his recent interview with The Athletic’s Sam Amick.
Eventually, James Harden ended up optioning in the last year of his current deal and traded to LA with the Clippers being his preferred destination. Harden also discussed his style of play during the last three seasons and the rumor that he wanted to return to a role that will allow him to become a 30+ points scorer again.
That said, here is the part of the interview that Harden referred to meeting the Rockets:
“SAM AMICK: So there’s another subplot that I’m hoping you can speak on. We all knew that going back to Houston was a pretty serious possibility for you if you hit free agency, but then they decided against it. It’s been reported that you told them you wanted to go back to being a scoring champ and to go back to being the guy who played that Rockets style basketball, and that it was a turnoff that led to them changing their minds. Is there truth to that?
JAMES HARDEN:Where is the personnel for that on that team? And in the last three or four years, what have I been trying to accomplish (in terms of playmaking)?
You can answer that for yourself. Now the meeting was had, and those conversations about style of play, how I’ve been playing and things like that (took place). But (the idea of) me going out there and averaging 30-something points a game — who wants to do that?
SAM AMICK: Who was in the meeting?
JAMES HARDEN: Representation, (Rockets) head coach (Ime Udoka). That was it.”
The Clippers are trying to find their footing putting Harden in their starting lineup and making him the main offense initiator. With them starting 0-6 after Harden’s trade, coach Tyronne Lue decided to move Russell Westbrook to the bench.
At 9-10, the Clippers are coming off a big 112-113 win over the Warriors. They are set to face defending champions Denver Nuggets on December 9 hoping to continue their strong run and build a winning streak.
James Harden exclusive, at @TheAthletic: On these early Clippers days, his detailed side of the story in the Daryl Morey/Sixers divorce and much more
“People were throwing dirt on my name, but the good guys always win,” he said with a smile.https://t.co/Eyav6BXThC
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) December 4, 2023