James Harden crystalized his emotions in regards to the Rockets after a 117-100 loss to the Lakers on Tuesday night time, primarily telling reporters he was now not fascinated by being a part of the franchise.
It had been reported that Harden was sad, and that he might attempt to pressure a commerce this yr, however comparable NBA disputes have traditionally performed out to their conclusion largely out of public sight with occasional leaks from brokers serving as main story advancers. When Anthony Davis pushed out of New Orleans in 2019, for instance, there was an exit request made after which an entire bunch of awkward silence. Davis by no means sat in entrance of cameras and blasted his group in blunt phrases.
“(We’re) simply not ok,” Harden mentioned. “I really like this metropolis. I actually have executed every part that I can. I imply, this case is loopy. It’s one thing that I don’t suppose may be fastened.”
As one can think about, Harden’s teammates did not appear to understand his feedback, which got here on an evening he went 5-for-16 from the sphere and 1-for-6 from deep. Offseason arrival John Wall wasn’t delicate in his response.
“It’s solely been 9 video games,” Wall mentioned. “Come on man, you need to bounce off a cliff after 9 video games? It’s a whole lot of basketball nonetheless to be performed.”
After his time in Washington ended with greater than a yr away from basketball attributable to damage, Wall had hoped he might return to type on a Rockets workforce that had reached the playoffs eight straight years. Any hope of an upbeat marketing campaign is probably going gone now.
Many NBA followers had been greatly surprised by Harden’s information convention. Some had been upset, whereas others had been extra bemused.
James harden mentioned this tradition is terrible, who’s liable for this???? Me? Ah effectively by no means the much less
— Trill Withers (@TylerIAm) January 13, 2021
Harden hasn’t been his typical celebrity self this yr, and his personal struggles deserve some blame for Houston’s 3-6 file. He is averaging 17.four factors per sport via 5 contests this month. In his worst month final yr, he averaged 28.2 factors per sport.
His conditioning has additionally been a supply of criticism — he seems much less nimble than in prior seasons — and his obvious weight achieve has been utilized by some folks to disparage his work ethic.
Earlier Tuesday night time, the NBA TV pregame crew alluded to his modified look.
The 76ers and Nets have been mentioned as potential commerce locations for Harden, however no deal has been reported near occurring at this level.