Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon acknowledged James Harden didn't really want to play in Houston anymore and he believes the Rockets are going in the right direction despite losing the 2018 NBA MVP. After a 117-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week, Harden said the Rockets weren't good enough and added the situation wasn't fixable.
In the offseason, it was reported that Harden requested a trade and that he mentioned the Brooklyn Nets as his most preferred destination. Harden's comments weren't taken well by the Rockets players and the team had no choice but to trade the 2017 NBA MVP as soon as possible.
The following day, the Rockets traded Harden to the Nets. "Obviously, you could tell from the summer and since the season started that he didn't want to be here," Gordon said of the Harden situation. "For us, I think it just gives us a chance to [have] a real direction.
Everyone else on the team can hone in and not worry about his situation. We can just move forward."
The Rockets thanked Harden for his contributions
Harden, who arrived to Houston in 2012, was putting up great numbers during his tenure with the Rockets.
The Rockets haven't missed the playoffs since 2012 and Harden deserves the most credit for that achievement. "On behalf of the entire Rockets organization and the City of Houston, I'd like to thank James Harden for an amazing eight-plus seasons in a Rockets uniform," Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said in a statement.
"James has provided us with so many great memories as we've watched him grow from Sixth Man of the Year to a perennial All-Star and MVP. My family and I also want to thank James for his many off the court contributions, including generous charitable donations and multiple annual community events.
We wish James the best of luck and will always be grateful for the memories." Rockets center DeMarcus Cousins, who is in his first year with the Rockets, blasted Harden for his comments and called them disrespectful.
"For me, knowing him personally, I don't think he really meant it as far as disrespecting us," Gordon said. "That's just for me. I think he just wanted a different situation. He's kind of shown that, and he also said it.
... I don't think he really meant to really disrespect the players, but he wanted his way out. And he got it."