James Harden crystallized his feelings towards the Rockets after losing to the Lakers between 117 and 100 Tuesday night, telling reporters that he was no longer interested in being part of the franchise.
It has been reported that Harden was unhappy and that he might try to force a deal this year, but similar NBA disputes have historically flowed towards their conclusion, mostly out of the public eye, with occasional leaks from agents serving as the main story- Serve advanced. For example, when Anthony Davis left New Orleans in 2019, an exit request was made and then a whole series of uncomfortable silences. Davis never sat in front of cameras and got his organization to the point.
“(We’re) just not good enough,” said Harden. “I love this city. I’ve literally done everything I can. I mean, this situation is insane. It’s something I don’t think can be fixed.”
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As you can imagine, Haven’s teammates didn’t seem to appreciate his comments, which came one evening walking 5v16 from the field and 1v6 from the deep. John Wall’s off-season arrival was not subtle in his response.
“It was only nine games,” said Wall. “Come on man, are you going to jump off a cliff after nine games?” There is still a lot of basketball to be played. “
After his time in Washington ended more than a year ahead of basketball due to an injury, Wall had hoped he could return to a Rockets team that had made the playoffs eight straight years. Any hope of an optimistic campaign is probably gone by now.
Many NBA fans were surprised by Harden’s press conference. Some were upset while others were more amused.
James Harden said this culture is terrible, who is responsible ???? Me? Well, anyway
– Trill Withers (@TylerIAm) January 13, 2021
Harden wasn’t his typical superstar self this year, and his own fights deserve to be blamed for Houston’s 3-6 record. He averages 17.4 points per game in five competitions that month. In his worst month last year, he averaged 28.2 points per game.
His conditioning has also been a source of criticism – he seems less nimble than in previous seasons – and his apparent weight gain has been used by some people to lower his work ethic.
Earlier on Tuesday night, the NBA TV pregame crew alluded to his changed appearance.
The 76s and nets have been discussed as potential trading targets for Harden, but no deal has been reported at this point.