James Harden says he "does not look like the crazy one" anymore after Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving also decided to leave the Brooklyn Nets. Around this time 12 months ago, Harden was traded from the Nets to the Philadelphia 76ers - Harden's departure led to an end of the Nets' Big Three of Harden, Durant and Irving.
Prior to this year's trade deadline, Irving demanded a trade from the Nets and he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. A few days later, Durant was also traded to the Phoenix Suns. "I didn't just ask to leave for no reason.
I was in a really good place in Houston. Obviously, we didn't have a chance to win a championship, but I was comfortable. So for me to up and leave my family, all the things I created there, to come to Brooklyn for a year and a half to try to just get up and leave, it was for a reason, you know what I mean? But I'm happy for the organization and what they've got back.
They got some really good pieces," Harden said, per ESPN.
Harden: I don't look like the crazy one anymore
"Yeah, there was. Like, a lot of things. But it was just a lot of dysfunction. Clearly. But it was a lot of internal things that I'm not going to ever just say, put in the media or anything.
And that was one of the reasons why I chose to make my decision. But now, fast-forward to date, I don't look like the crazy one. I don't look like the guy or the quitter or whatever the media want to call me," Harden added. On Saturday, Harden returned to Brooklyn.
In the 76ers' 101-98 win over the Nets, Harden had 29 points, six rebounds and six assists. With the Nets, Harden didn't manage to become an NBA champion. Now, Harden is hoping to win one with the 76ers.
• Philadelphia 76ers Secure Optimal Deal in James Harden Trade• How is this possible: Kevin Durant grew two inches at the age of 35• Jabari Smith Aims to Emulate Kevin Durant's Key Habit• James Harden Praises Tyrese Maxey Post-Trade• Did Victor Wembanyama Just Stun Kevin Durant in Their First Matchup?• Kevin Durant Hails Wembanyama's Unique Impact in NBA Showdowns