DALLAS - Those reports of Dallas Mavericks interest in trading for James Harden never made any serious sense, and as the NBA's most selfishly gifted player continues to force an implosion of the Houston Rockets. .. and my belief that nobody should be interested in trading for him is solidified.
The Brooklyn Nets obviously disagree, on Wednesday afternoon creating a three-team trade and giving up a blockbuster package including four first-round picks for the controversial star, allowing him to join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Also important: The Rockets are taking Caris LaVert, part of the Harden three-way, and shipping him to the Pacers in exchange for a name that has legitimately been tied to Dallas, Victor Oladipo.
"I’ve literally done everything that I can,'' Harden fibbed on Tuesday about trying this year to help the Houston franchise succeed. "It’s crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”
But it could've been fixed. It could've been fixed by a remarkably talented player whose aggressive on-court creativity literally reinvented the way offensive basketball is played. It could've been fixed without the infection of Harden's laziness and greed. It could've been fixed had Harden quit making demands on the Rockets organization regarding with whom he wants to play. (The recent report that the Rockets "give James anything he wants'' is really not so much a "revelation'' as it is a "confirmation of the obvious.'')
It could've been fixed by James Harden exiting the strip clubs (and, given his embarrassingly bloated body - I mean, he's now built like a sportswriter! - declining the free strip-club meals) showing up at training camp, in support of his new coach (former Mavs assistant Stephen Silas) and his admittedly less-talented teammates.
He wants to play somewhere outside of Houston, so along comes the "crazy'' rumor-mongering that would land “The Beard” moving from being aligned with strip clubs to being the "first star'' in a lineup with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
That rumor was silly. But the Nets deal (with Cleveland as the third-team facilitator) is serious stuff.
But when James Soften ... er, Harden ... joins his new team - a "SuperTeam,'' on paper - he will bring weighty problems. Imagine how he would threaten to destroy any team built on unselfishness, as Dallas is around Luka Doncic, a magnetic symbol of sharing?
READ MORE: Mavs GAMEDAY: Porzingis To Debut Tonight
Harden’s own mother, Monja, is in on the lie, saying via social media that her son is "giving 210 percent ... every time he suited up for his job.''
Harden has surrounded himself with sycophants, so maybe he actually believes that his effort is high and that his $132 million due over the next three years in Houston is not enough.
But NBA fans in general - and the people who run the NBA, too - should find the Harden situation disconcerting. Yes, star players, and their agents, often work to create an exit from a bad situation. Indeed, Mavs fans are rooting for just such a thing to happen with somebody like Bradley Beal and the Wizards.
But if/when it happens, most players do what Beal is doing: Offering maximum effort to earn their pay, and maximum effort to win. Harden's "I’ve literally done everything that I can'' lie is, compared to the work ethic and commitment of most NBA stars, essentially basketball blasphemy.
James Harden acts as if he is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, when really he's just carrying it around his belly. But now, he gets his way ... and carries it all the way to Brooklyn.