Harden got what he wanted in the end after some of the worst trade-forcing behavior ever seen. He showed up late to training camp, flouted the league’s health and safety protocols on camera, let his level of play and conditioning decline and, finally, cemented his newfound villainy by publicly criticizing the collective quality of his now-former Rockets teammates. The executive nonetheless described Harden, if only for the moment while he’s taking such heat, as the league’s most underrated player.