Another year, another James Harden failure in the playoffs after forcing his way away from the Rockets. Isn't that strange?
No one really wants to kick a player while he's down, but James Harden has brought this all on himself to some degree. You don't force your way off the Rockets and the Nets in such a short time and then have people make excuses for you when you're bad in the playoffs.
Harden has lost almost every bit of support and sympathy that he could. Outside of a few people in Philly, how many fans does Harden have left? (And let's not pretend that he didn't lose some of those Philly fans last night, too).
Again, Harden started to bring all of this on himself when he started to dog it in Houston as he was looking for a trade. You just can't show up intentionally-overweight and quit on a team like the Rockets and have people forget it overnight.
You don't make things better when you do the same thing to the Nets a year later.
Harden has put himself in a position where he looks like a petulant child until he gets his way, but his way is never better for both parties. The former superstar is chasing the success that he found with the Rockets, and he doesn't show a sign of finding that again anytime soon as a teammate or individual player.
There was a fit in Houston. The Rockets were primed to be a great team in the West and starting to get the right guys to make a run. But Harden's choices and the way that he alienated the team made it so that games like last night, where he takes no shots in the second half of a losing elimination game, seem almost funny to the fanbases.
The Nets learned a lesson with Harden this season. The 76ers also learned that lesson last night. James Harden isn't good enough to be worth the headache any longer, and Rockets fans have known this for a while.
No one is talking about pulling for players to lose, but there aren't any Rockets fans or Nets fans that feel bad about how last night's loss went.