Nets’ James Harden still has regrets over ugly Houston exit

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Nearly a month after he forced his way out of Houston, James Harden still has some regrets over how it went down — but not about the end result.

The Nets star had a messy ending to his Rockets tenure, requesting a trade before training camp, getting fined for violating COVID-19 protocols and then playing eight games while appearing to rub some of his teammates the wrong way on his way out. While he ultimately got his wish — joining Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as a Big 3 in Brooklyn — he recently reiterated his remorse for how things ended in Houston.

“I don’t like it at all because that’s not who I am,” Harden told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in an interview aired Friday. “The drama, the extra whatever you want to call it, the negativity for me. I don’t really like negative energy. That’s draining. So I don’t like how it necessarily happened. I feel like it could have happened a lot smoother, a lot easier, but it is what it is.”

Harden said he would not have done anything differently.

“Apologize for how it went down, but I guess I had to do what I had to do in order to get to where I wanted to go,” Harden said.

The three-time scoring champ is now 13 games into his Nets tenure and has high expectations for the postseason.

“We’re more than confident that it’s going to be difficult for a team to beat us four times in a best-of-seven series,” Harden said.

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