Rockets fans weren’t the only ones left disappointed in James Harden’s decision to leave town. NBA on TNT analysts, including Basketball Hall of Fame legends Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, weighed in on the subject Thursday night.
Harden, who told reporters, “I love this city. I literally have done everything I can,” he said, via Bleacher Report. “I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed,” less than 24 hours before he was sent to Brooklyn after these final words as a member of the Rockets.
Shaq On Harden’s Decision To Leave Houston: ‘When You Say You Gave The City Your All, That Ain’t True’
Those comments didn’t sit well with Shaq, who opened up about Harden heading to Brooklyn on TNT’s Inside The NBA Thursday night.
“When you say you gave the city your all; that ain’t true,” O’Neal said. “You asked for Dwight Howard. We gave him to you; it didn’t work out. You asked for Chris Paul. We gave him to you. You asked for some shooters. We gave it to you. You asked for (Russell) Westbrook, your homeboy from little league, we gave him to you. It didn’t work out. When you said, ‘I gave you everything,’ I say, ‘No, you didn’t.’”
From his own perspective, O’Neal took it a step further.
“I used to be like James,” O’Neal added. “I used to come home and complain and my father, rest in peace, Sgt. Philip Harrison, used to say, ‘Well, what the hell did you do?’ He ain’t do nothing. He ain’t step up when he was supposed to step up.
“I know a lot of people in Houston who are glad he’s gone.”
Shaq says that it’s now championship or bust for the Nets.
“He’s got his superteam,” O’Neal said. “He’s got to win this year. If he don’t win this year, it’s a bust. Period.”
Charles Barkley On Nets’ New ‘Big 3’: ‘I Don’t Think They’re Going To Make The Sacrifice’
Shaq’s co-host, Charles Barkley jumped in on the conversation by adding that he doesn’t believe a superteam that consists of Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving can win a championship. For Chuck, it comes down to superstars making sacrifices, and that’s not something he envisions in Brooklyn’s new ‘Big 3.’
“The only one of those three guys who has proven to me that he’s not selfish and not a ‘me’ guy is KD,” Barkley said. “KD went to Golden State and he sacrificed. James Harden and Kyrie Irving have never shown me ‘I just want to win. That’s the most important thing.’ You’ve got one guy, KD, he’s unselfish. The other two guys, they just care about their numbers, and I don’t think they’re going to make the sacrifice. They’re going to get less shots.
“Are those guys going to say, I’m just going to say, ‘You know what, I’m just going to play hard and play defense and not sorry about my individual numbers’? To me, that’s a hell, no”