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The Houston Rockets all-star guard James Harden spoke to the media Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, for the first time since the start of training camp. He chose to speak only about recent team activities rather than address rumors of a trade request.
There appears to be “a whatever James says culture” in Houston. This culture has found the Rockets staying one to two days over in cities that Harden liked if they had a couple of days between games.
Harden also seems to have the final say in more than just team layovers. He has shot-calling abilities when it comes to personnel moves on the player roster and the coaching staff.
The NBA All-Star expressed his need to have head coach Kevin McHale fired and the trading of team co-stars Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. Houston really felt that it was good business to do what Harden wanted and to keep him happy.
But they may have come across some bumps in the road recently when Harden asked to be traded if the team could not be contenders in 2021. To show them he was serious; he did not show up to training camp. Instead, he was in Atlanta and Vegas, posting pictures and stories on Instagram showing him partying in both cities.
Not only was he partying during the start of training camp, but he was also doing so without complying with the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols. Harden was partying maskless and promoting his rebellion also on Instagram.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat are among Harden’s preferred trade destinations. New York Times reporter Marc Stien reported that the 76ers are the more likely landing spot for Harden.
Rumors are soaring that to get Harden in a trade to the 76ers, they will have to give up Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid. They are both just what the Rockets need if interested in trading him.
Written by Omari Jahi
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
ESPN: James Harden and the Houston Rockets are at a breaking point; by Tim MacMahon
Yahoo! Sports: James Harden ends media blackout, doesn’t address trade request: ‘I’m just focused on being here’ by LIZ ROSCHER
NBC Sports: NBA rumors: Rockets’ asking price in potential James Harden trade with 76ers revealed by Nick Goss
Feature and Top Image by Keith Allison Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by Jose Garcia Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License