Harden: 'I wasn't disrespectful to anyone' during Rockets departure
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James Harden insists he wasn't aiming to offend anybody on the Houston Rockets over the past several weeks as he lobbied for the franchise to trade him.

"I wasn't disrespectful to anyone," Harden said Friday in his first press conference as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, courtesy of SNY. "Those guys that just got there in Houston, I've been there a very long time. I've been through all the ups and downs with that organization. I wasn't disrespectful toward anyone. I just made a comment that the team as a whole wasn't good enough to compete for a title.

"At this stage of my career, where I am now, that's what I would love. I wasn't trying to be disrespectful to anybody, especially not to the organization. Like I said, I'm excited to be here in Brooklyn, excited for a new start."

Rockets center DeMarcus Cousins was critical of Harden on Wednesday shortly before Houston sent the former MVP to Brooklyn as part of a multi-team deal.

Cousins, who signed a one-year deal with the Rockets this past offseason, ripped Harden's behavior after the guard declared the Rockets couldn't be "fixed" during a postgame interview the previous night.

"Just the approach to training camp, showing up the way he did, the antics off the court, I mean the disrespect started way before. So this isn't something that all of a sudden happened last night," Cousins said.

Harden said Friday he does hold some regret with how the saga unfolded.

"I regret (it) because I'm not the type of guy to - I don't need the attention, especially the negative energy, the negative attention. I've never been that guy. There were some things that I felt like out of my character but the ultimate goal was to get somewhere where I can compete, and here I am in Brooklyn.

"I have nothing but love and respect for that organization, that city, and everything they've done for me and my family. Much respect."

The eight-time All-Star could make his Nets debut Saturday against the Orlando Magic. However, Harden was forced to miss the team's practice Friday and cannot participate in any on-court activities until all players involved in the trade pass their physicals, ESPN's Malika Andrews reports.

Until then, Harden offered Nets fans an abridged self-description of the player they're getting.

"An elite player, an elite teammate, an elite leader," he said, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Harden: 'I wasn't disrespectful to anyone' during Rockets departure
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