Brooklyn Nets star James Harden is very familiar with dramatic exits from an NBA team. After establishing himself as the second-best player in franchise history for the Houston Rockets, his departure from the team was unceremonious, to say the least.
With all that behind him and now on a title contender, the messy divorce still comes up from time to time when similar situations arise. The Ben Simmons fiasco in Philadelphia will likely fall into the category of messy divorces when it’s all said and done.
As many NBA experts have stated, however, the standoff between Simmons and the 76ers is unprecedented for someone with Ben’s current contract terms. Having gone through his own rough departure, Harden was asked recently how his situation in Houston compared to what’s currently happening in Philly.
“It’s two totally different situations,” began Harden. “I’m not really in tune to what’s actually going on [with Simmons]. It was a little uncomfortable for me because I don’t like a lot of tension, especially negative energy.”
Nets star James Harden doesn’t see himself in Ben Simmons’ situation.
While there’s plenty of uncomfortable energy to go around in Philadelphia until the situation is resolved, the circumstances surrounding that and the Rockets’ situation were different. Much of the early tension in Philadelphia stemmed from criticisms of Simmons by his teammates and coach after the Sixers’ playoff loss to the Hawks last season.
Of course, Simmons is far from blameless too, as he hasn’t handled everything in the classiest of ways himself. Now it’s turned into a stalemate between both sides with no near end in sight.
The Rockets, meanwhile, were able to trade a disgruntled Harden before further damage could be done to the team after the Russell Westbrook and Harden experiment didn’t work out. Netting Caris LeVert and three first-round draft picks, it’s probably safe to say the Rockets were as ok as they could be with the deal considering the awkward alternative.
However it all went down, Harden is ready to focus on one thing, and that’s Brooklyn Nets basketball. “It was a little uncomfortable for me, having to go through it. But I’m happy where I am now,” said Harden.
Hopefully, Ben Simmons can say the same thing soon.