Early on in my freshman year of college, I was at a barbecue when a pretty girl caught my eye. She was tall, porcelain skinned, with a gaze that could put butterflies in any guy's stomach. The first time I saw her I was immediately taken aback by her beauty. I introduced myself to this girl I later learned was Russian, and, after a while, I convinced her to go out with me. She was miles out of my league, but somehow she and I dated for the better part of my freshman and sophomore years of college.
And then, during a particularly cold winter, things just weren't the same. Neither one of us could really put our finger on it either. We were fighting over stupid things, spending less time together, and we could both sense that the relationship had run its course. We still cared for each other, but for whatever reason, things just weren't working out. We took "a break," got back together, and finally had "the talk" where we both decided to head our separate ways.
The months that followed weren't easy. Even though we had broken up on good terms, after being with someone for so long, it's simply hard to be apart. Now that I'm somewhat removed from the situation, I realize that the breakup was for the best. But the long and short of it is it is hard. And no matter how amicable the terms are, there are going to be hard feelings.
For me, the pretty Russian girl who I had shared a good part of my formative college years with was no longer by my side. For James Harden and Dwight Howard, the pretty boy from Florida, Chandler Parsons, has now left for greener pastures in Dallas. And for all of us, that change is hard. When you break up, it's so easy to let whatever resentment you had towards the other person boil over and come out.
I know I said things I shouldn't have in the wake of the breakup, as did James Harden and Chandler Parsons. Parsons felt disrespected because he sees himself as a potential star, held down in Houston by a team that doesn't view him as such, and James Harden wants everyone to know he's a strong, independent man who doesn't need Parsons by his side to succeed.
In each of their comments, there is an element of truth. The Rockets did not value Parsons as highly as Dallas did, and Dallas' belief that Parsons had star potential certainly resonated with him more than Houston's pitch of being a super role player on a championship contender. And James Harden was absolutely right that Parsons was not going to be a star player in Houston.
And you know what? In six months, nobody is going to give a damn what happened. Parsons will probably be averaging 18-20 points a night in Dallas as he gets more shots in an offense with Dirk, and Harden will hopefully be chasing homecourt in the Western Conference with Dwight Howard and his "gang of role players." When the two teams matchup against each other, the players will make their peace, and all of these comments in the wake of the split will be forgotten.
Personally, I can't say we both immediately moved onto bigger and better things in our lives after breaking up, but I do know that everything worked out for the best for the two of us. The path to get there just wasn't easy.