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"If Harden Is Traded Today, The James-Harden Rockets Era Was A Massive Success," Says Nick Wright

(via Sir Charles In Charge)

(via Sir Charles In Charge)

For the past eight seasons, the Houston Rockets have enjoyed the luxuries of housing an NBA superstar, being a highly watched team who was always among the Championship contenders.

Unfortunately, they have little to show for their efforts. Despite having housed James and multiple other star teammates (Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Russell Westbrook), they never got past the Conference Finals, a mark most believe they should have met over the past 5+ years.

Fast forward to today, and the situation in Houston has gotten even darker, with Harden requesting out and multiple details having been revealed about the "toxic" culture that has corrupted the franchise for years now.

Still, according to Nick Wright, the Harden-era in Houston should be considered a success -- even if he gets traded tomorrow.

"If Harden is traded today, the James-Harden Rockets era was a massive success. ... If he 'failed' it's bc he wasn't quite good enough. He wasn't better than Steph, KD or LeBron. Yeah, they gave him a lot of power. It worked as well as it realistically could've."

For Wright, the issue isn't the fact that the Rockets have pandered to Harden all these years, it's the fact that the Beard is just not quite good enough to bring them over the top. They did the best with who they had.

In the last 40 years, 38 champions have had a Top 20 all time player. Only the 2019 Raptors & 2004 Pistons didn’t. The Rockets problem wasn’t enabling Harden, it was that as great as Harden is he isn’t quite good enough.

The closest the Rockets ever came to winning the title over the past 10 years was back in 2018, when the Rockets pushed the Warriors to seven games in the Western Conference Finals. They led by 15 at half-time before famously missing 27 consecutive pointers to lose the game. Harden went 0-10 during that span.

Obviously, it's fair to say the Rockets had hoped for better results both then and in the years that followed. Still, the Rockets have been a consistent playoff team for almost a decade now and often get credit for being the Warriors' biggest threat during their dynasty.

Whether or not that classifies as a success for the era is for you to decide.