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James Harden’s mom defends his behavior after failing to report to Rockets training camp

With the Houston Rockets set to play their first preseason game on Friday, the team has been practicing to prepare for the upcoming season that will usher in a new era for the franchise. One player who didn’t attend practice, however, is All Star guard James Harden.

Amid reports that he attended a party in Las Vegas over the weekend instead of going to practice and an individual workout, Harden’s mother, Monja Willis, took to Instagram to defend her son regarding allegations about his behavior.

Aside from stating that she is proud of her son for making his own decisions and stating that people should be allowed to make decisions for themselves and not for others, Willis mentioned that the former MVP is “doing what is best for his career” and that “he [is] ask[ing] for a chance to get a ring [and] that’s it,” which caught the eye of some on social media.

While it wasn’t clear which team she was referring to, Willis could be alluding to Harden’s rumored trade request to play for the Brooklyn Nets together with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, his former teammate with the Oklahoma City Thunder. But after the Rockets made a stunning trade with the Washington Wizards for All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook in exchange for John Wall and a first-round pick, it’s unsure if the front office is also willing to ship the eight-time All-Star to a different team.

The latest report out of Harden is that while he missed the team’s practice and a private workout, he does plan on reporting “soon” before the Rockets play their first preseason game against the Chicago Bulls.