James Harden has been absent from Houston Rockets training camp and new head coach Stephen Silas says that he hasn’t even spoken to Harden about when he’ll be in camp. Harden’s absence combined with the recent reports that Harden wants to be traded has led many to believe that he’s holding out and won’t show up until he’s finally traded.
On the daily Locked On NBA Podcast, Josh Lloyd was joined by Jackson Gatlin (host of the Locked On Rockets Podcast) to discuss James Harden’s absence from the Rockets’ training camp and why at least John Wall believes he’s still committed to playing in Houston this season.
Jackson Gatlin: There’s the one line of thinking where Harden is done, he’s quit on the organization, and he doesn’t believe the Rockets have what it takes. He’s put in his trade request, they haven’t fulfilled it. So now he’s just going to mope around and pout until they get him out of Houston. That’s the first line of thinking to explain this reckless endeavor to go to a Lil Baby’s birthday party and hang out and shirk the NBA regulations surrounding COVID.
That’s, that’s the first line of thinking, the other line of thinking is that what Harden did is definitely still irresponsible, but John Wall said that he and Harden spoke before the trade that they were committed to playing with each other. So why would John Wall have any reason to come out and say that? John Wall could have very easily come out and said something very akin to what Steven Silas said where you’re going to have to ask James about his commitment level. John Wall seems thoroughly convinced that James Harden is committed at least for this year, and that they’re going to try and make this pairing work. So maybe it was just kind of one last hurrah, however irresponsible, for James before he commits to these enhanced NBA protocols with no bars, no lounges, no clubs, none of that, which is something that Harden is well known for in NBA circles.