I had a debate recently with my peer regarding James Harden trade involving the Houston Rockets and the Brooklyn Nets. He made a point that it was a bad trade for Brooklyn because of his playstyle and actions in Houston which caused this trade. Some even say that he used every trick in the book to force this trade by being noticeably out of shape and calling out his teammates.
From my perspective, I think it was a good trade for the Nets regardless of what James Harden did in Houston to get out of there. I cannot blame Harden for wanting to be out for his pursuit of first championship ring. I thought Houston had a solid chance to win until Chris Paul got injured in the playoffs one year. I don’t know what happened between them after, but Houston failed to acquire pieces who could help and legitimately compete for the championship. Houston had a decent team with James Harden, but not enough to beat the defending champions and some other elite teams in the league.
I would like to remind people that there are three main things you need to consider before criticizing and evaluating his actions:
- People usually never get mad when not-so-great players leave the team.
- He stayed with Houston for about 8 years. I think he did more than enough for the business of the Houston Rockets.
- You need to think and see things in James Harden’s point of view and not from others who have nothing to do with his personal goals and legacy in life. If you weren’t with him in the gym shooting jump shots, then where he wants to go and play shouldn’t be your business.
When you start to work for a big corporation, depending on who you are and what you do, it is very possible to see or experience a similar situation as James Harden and the Houston Rockets. When I worked for a big corporation, I requested to be transferred to other locations within the company about 25 ~ 30+ times over a period of 4 years. I was not able to transfer and I was stuck at a place where I didn’t even want to be for a long time.
One time, after one of my transfer requests, my supervisor at the time approached me and told me that I shouldn’t transfer and wait a couple of years for the new location to be built not too far away. She told me that I was the go-to-guy for the department and did not want me go to other locations. The problem was I never wanted to be there any longer than a year, and I simply didn’t want to be the go-to-guy. I just wanted to be a bench warmer just like many others in the place. I wanted to be that guy who pops the champagne bottle and wear the championship ring while on the bench. Since there was no special big raises in salary or promotions for being the go-to-guy, I didn’t see the point of constantly burning myself out physically and mentally in order to be the go-to-guy. My leave requests to see my family in Canada were sometimes being denied because there was nobody else to do the work like I did. You would figure they would at least have some kind of respect for what I’ve done for them and those numbers they cried about all the time, but there were one too many disrespectful actions and comments.
In the end, I tried what James Harden did. Unfortunately, it didn’t achieve the result I hoped since it was not a professional sport league. When I started to not perform like in the past, the general manager approached and told me that his numbers were down and his boss was breathing down his neck. This was around my 20 ~ 25th transfer request attempt, and I told him that since I was focused on my transfer, he should have a discussion with others in the department to train and raise his numbers. Then, he told me about how other locations will not be better and he didn’t want me to make him look bad by causing a problem at other locations like my manager who caught a rape charge at that time. I’m not too sure if this was Caucasian thing or North Eastern thing or American thing, but I was not asking transfers in order to rape employees from work at new locations. He ended his annoying rants by telling me that it would be difficult to transfer to other locations if the numbers were not up. I didn’t really care about it because my transfers didn’t happen when the numbers were great. The management’s mistakes and problems became my problems. I had nothing to do with hiring, training, and promotions, and I was in the middle of epic shit show created by a bunch of individuals who I detested to work with. I have attended almost all company Christmas functions in the past. However, when it came to this place, I never attended once due to potential violence involving too much alcohol.
During those 4 years, I’ve been told many times that I should get a mortgage for various reasons. I’m so glad that I didn’t listen and get a loan. That could have been a disaster. Maybe they thought I would get a loan for a place in the area and stick around in the same region to repeat the same outrageous bullshit with the same people for the next who knows how many years in the quest of company expansion. Hell no, they would have to offer me six figures plus company stock options to even consider that suicidal or homicidal journey.
Depending on what you do and where you work, if you decide to join a big corporation, it is important to find out what kind of people you are working with immediately. If you work with a wrong mentor and surrounded by wrong workers, you will be most likely penalized for being a hard working reliable employee in many ways. They don’t care about scrubs leaving and they don’t fire scrubs for various reasons. If they depend on you more to get the job done than others, they will find every possible way to hold you hostage until you quit and do something else. This is why you must stay away and get away from incompetent supervisors or managers. Don’t let X years of service in the company fool you. I’ve seen plenty of managers with 20 years in the company who were having serious difficulties dealing with elementary school level of problem solving.
In the world of professional sports, there is no way to fake the stats of players. It’s transparent. Players are usually compensated based on those stats and performances. Unfortunately, in the corporate world, it doesn’t always work that way. Also, there is no such thing as free agents. Depending on where and who you work with, people will take credit to get compensated for your hard work and results. That is also another reason why it is critical to understand your work environment fast and figure out what kind of people you are working with. If you discover that you are working with wrong people, it is probably better to find something else depending on your situation. You don’t want to waste your time and energy for a cause that doesn’t align with your plans and goals. It is always better to walk around or away from the puddle of shit. If you are around the puddle of shit long enough, you are bound to step on shit.
When you work with a right mentor and company, they will do right by you. They will do things right in general. Employees will be promoted based on performances and not personal emotions or who won the who sucked the most d!cks championship. Also, you will be able to learn and gain many valuable insights and experiences which can assist you in many other businesses and endeavors of your own in the future. The reason why I was able to perform and achieve good results is because of my time and experiences of working with some great mentors and company prior to the Fortune 500 company. If you are working in a physical labor company, I suggest you exploring the option of eating and gaining lots of weight after your 90 days probation to make your life easier. Therefore, if you need to escape from a terrible situation in big corporations, you just might need to do exactly what James Harden did.