Harden sees title chance, says he'll sacrifice shots for it

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) passes the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Houston. (Troy Taormina/Pool Photo via AP)
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) passes the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Houston. (Troy Taormina/Pool Photo via AP) (Troy Taormina)

NEW YORK – James Harden used his final interview in Houston to say that his team wasn't good enough.

He has a whole new message now that he's in Brooklyn.

Harden sees a roster that features Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, a coaching staff that includes a coach under whom he became the NBA's leading scorer, and an opportunity to win the title he still lacks.

“You just add that all together, and it’s like, that’s a legit chance right there,” Harden said. “It was a no-brainer for me.”

The Nets acquired Harden from the Rockets on Thursday in a blockbuster deal that reunites him with Durant, his teammate in Oklahoma City. He could play for them Saturday if all the players in the deal, which also included Cleveland, pass their physicals in time.

The trade was completed just two days after Harden's final game with the Rockets, a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Following the game, Harden said: “We’re just not good enough ... I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can."

Harden said he wasn't being disrespectful to his former teammates.

“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 towards anyone," he said. "I just made a comment that the team as a whole wasn’t good enough to compete for a title and at this stage of my career where I am now that’s what I would love.”