James Harden’s deadpan reason for being in Atlanta, Vegas instead of Rockets camp
Harden did not address the media following Tuesday night’s preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs, and it remains to be seen whether he or the team will face a fine.
But The Beard showed up for his media availability session Wednesday, addressing a host of important questions amid his trade request. Well, not exactly addressing them. More like dancing around.
Harden was asked why he did not report to Rockets camp on time. The former league MVP notably spent the start of camp partying in Atlanta and Las Vegas with Lil Baby and others.
However, Harden claims to have been preparing for the season:
James Harden on what he was doing in Atlanta in Vegas during training camp:
"I was just training."
"The start of the NBA season."
Why in Atlanta and Vegas instead of Houston?
"My personal trainers."
— Salman Ali (@SalmanAliNBA) December 16, 2020
Naturally, Harden is not going to come right out and say he did not report because he was too busy partying. It is also possible he really was getting some workouts in while also enjoying the nightlife.
Still, Harden’s failure to report to camp on time only added to the drama in Houston amid his trade demands. Head coach Stephen Silas called the absence a “setback,” a perfectly reasonable response considering the season was only weeks away at that point.
Contrary to what the partying and lateness might indicate, however, it seems Harden is indeed turning the focus to basketball. Silas explained he has had good conversations with Harden, who he claimed is “locked in.”
The 31-year-old took the floor Tuesday night against the Spurs, scoring 12 points on 3-for-10 shooting. Perhaps the situation will subside with the season drawing nearer, though it is hard to read into Harden’s intentions. It sure seems as if he definitely still wants out of Houston, but the franchise isn’t going to rush into any trade of the superstar player.