Harden Misses Rockets’ First Practice, Tells Team He’ll Report Soon

1:51pm: Asked again today about Harden’s absence and possible arrival date, Silas replied, “There is no timetable, as far as I know. It is a setback. You want your best player to be here.”

Silas added that he’s not sure whether or not Harden is in Houston (Twitter links via Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle).


7:49am: Rockets star James Harden missed the team’s first group practice on Sunday due to not having cleared the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

Head coach Stephen Silas said after the group practice that he expected Harden to participate in an individual workout on Sunday night, but the former MVP didn’t return for that workout either, per MacMahon. However, Harden did tell Rockets management that he’ll report soon, a source informed ESPN.

Harden’s situation is worth keeping an eye on, since he reportedly sought a trade during the offseason. Silas told reporters last Thursday that he was giving the superstar guard “space,” as reports on that same day indicated that Harden wasn’t in Houston while the team took part in individual workouts. TMZ later reported that he had been in Atlanta for rapper Lil Baby’s birthday party.

The NBA’s coronavirus protocols called for players to quarantine at home last week except for essential activities, as well as workouts and COVID-19 tests at the team’s facility. Players were required to return three consecutive negative PCR tests before being cleared to participate in individual workouts.

It sounds like Harden will probably report to the Rockets and receive clearance within the next few days, at which point he’ll likely speak to reporters for the first time. His commitment to the Rockets figures to be the primary focus during that first media session — so far, his teammates and head coach have bore the brunt of those inquiries.

As MacMahon details, new Rockets point guard John Wall said this weekend that he had a “great talk” with Harden and “for sure” believes his new backcourt mate wants to play for the Rockets this season. Silas, meanwhile, said last Thursday that he expected Harden to be “all-in” with Houston for 2020/21. Asked again on Sunday about Harden’s commitment, Silas replied, “That’s a question you’re going to have to ask him when he gets here.”

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63 thoughts on “Harden Misses Rockets’ First Practice, Tells Team He’ll Report Soon

  1. jjd002

    Dude is a grown ass man and acting like he’s a teenager. This crap is getting old super quick. Houston has bent over backwards for him for years and he is acting like a superstar diva. Great player, but is a terrible leader.

    • Marty McRae

      He sure does expect a lot for having relentlessly choked in every single postseason over the last decade plus.

      • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

        So it’s considered choking every time a player in the postseason doesn’t win a championship? Noted. There are a lot more chokers in the NBA than I realized.

        • takeitback

          No, it’s considered choking when you play terrible in clutch moments……especially when it costs your team wins.

          That’s Harden. Great numbers in the regular season, chokes in the playoffs. Stop acting like you haven’t seen it.

        • KnickerbockerAl

          2-11 FG, 2-9 3PT, 7 ast, 6 TO, 10 pts total
          In a 144-75 gm6 loss to Spurs. At home.
          2017 playoffs L 4-2 Finished 3rd in season.
          Harden came out game for 4 th Q he was playing so bad. He didn’t or couldn’t play anymore. Choke

          link to larrybrownsports.com

          • Lakers1

            How bout that semi final game vs clippers when rockets made the comeback with harden sitting on the bench.. the series where josh smith won it for them not their superstar joke

        • GoLandCrabs

          No other superstar is 0-8 in even getting to the Finals LOL. The excuses you make for this overrated clown is insane. Get over Harden. He isn’t that good.

          • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

            The lack of respect he gets because of all the prejudice is what is truly insane. He will be one of the top 10 players in NBA history some day, mark my words.

        • I'm a starboy not a Dr...

          Not doing enough is choking. His team misses 27 threes a year and a half ago..he didn’t do much that game either…

    • DrSeuss69

      thats what happens when players get paid crazy money…they think they’re above everything..look at lebum using teams as puppets to get what he wants

    • Jason Lancaster

      Houston built a roster that almost made the finals, but then a new owner came along and demanded cost cutting trades to avoid the tax. Then they fired his coach and his GM, replacing both with newbs.

      Harden requested a trade, and ownership said “we’re prepared for things to get uncomfortable.”

      Well, here we are. Fertitta created this situation. He should be the one you’re mad at.

      • Black Ace57

        Lol neither Dantoni nor Morey were fired. Fertitta is a cheapskate, but Harden demanding they trade Chris Paul for Westbrook giving up 2 picks and 2 pick swaps is what closed their window. Don’t be a Harden defender just because of the owner. Also, it’s not Fertitta going to Vegas dance clubs instead of doing his job he is paid millions for in the middle of a pandemic that killed over 250k Americans alone and counting.

        • Jason Lancaster

          You think that both Morey and D’Antoni just decided not to stay, the same night, the same plane ride home? Come on.

          Also, what is Harden supposed to do here? Squander his career playing for an idiot? Be “loyal” to a team that will inevitably trade him because he won’t re-sign? Risk injury before his last big paycheck playing for a team that will be sitting at home after the first round?

          I thought fans liked players who wanted to win it all, no matter what?

          Harden is the only rational person in this whole thing – Fertitta thinks he can somehow force Harden to increase his trade value, and fans hate players for doing the same thing they’d do if given the opportunity.

          • Col. Sanders

            If it was any other player than Harden people woudn’t be so harsch on him but yet again everybody seems to act like Fertita wasn’t cheap.

            Just wonder if Lacob or Ballmer act like that. Would everybody say that Kawhi or curry are b******* instead of playing? Seriously I doubt it. There would be compassions for them. They would be in ”bad situation”.

            Double standards.

            • El Don

              Sooo true Col.!
              I can understand all here hates on hmvps which makes easy to hate HOU as well… for some very odd reason people do hate on Harden as well, which I can’t understand as the guy is unbelievably good!
              Lesser players like Curry & Kawhi would definitely get away with that ’cause for some reason they seem to be more popular! SMH!
              #FreeTheBeard

              • Col. Sanders

                It seems to be a trend here and for some reason people chose Harden to be a scape goat to vent their life frustrations by hating on him.

                • x%sure

                  He has two years left and has been given great favors and had top teammates and innovations. He should work it at least another year. This is true regardless of the observer. Standards. This isn’t a case like Jimmy Butler’s or AD. Not every case is the same.

                • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

                  It’s prejudice, pure and simple. Specifically Islamophobia because his beard makes him look middle eastern. Americans hate Muslims, it’s a fact, which is ironic because Harden is Christian.

  2. buttholesurfer69

    Clicked that TMZ link … what is Harden, 31-32 years old? How are you gonna be ON CAMERA at a birthday party in Atlanta when your team’s training camp starts?

    If I was Houston I’d be pushing for Simmons straight up right now

    • Simmons and Wall don’t seem like a good fit but agree it’s not a good look for Harden. They definitely need to unload him somewhere

    • PhillyPhan69

      Lol Philly ain’t trading Simmons…if they are interested in Tobias maybe we can talk.

        • PhillyPhan69

          I would take that bet! The sixers just had Ben design their city jerseys (ugly though they may be!)…not the sign of a team looking to trade him…Philly knows what they have in Ben and he is neigh untradeable.

          • buttholesurfer69

            Don’t get me wrong, I think they value him. I just think Morey thinks if he can get Harden he gives them a 2-3 year window to win a championship without having to bank on Simmons or Embiid becoming a viable 3pt shooter

  3. Lionel Muggeridge

    Jeez! What a leader! Rockets should trade him ASAP. They’ve gone as far as they could together. It’s time for a fresh start for James and Houston.

    • takeitback

      People wonder why Howard, Paul, and Westbrook all wanted out after playing with him…….it’s crap like this. Awful leader!!!!!

  4. Count that baby and a foul!

    I don’t care how good a bball player he is. Behavior like this is toxic and will ruin the locker room before team chemistry evwn has a chance to build.

    The ship has sailed with him and the Rockets trade him for the most talentes young player you can and most picks you can and run with the all achilles team.

  5. Count that baby and a foul!

    Rockets FO has some dignity for crying out loud. This guy is pissing and crapping all over your red carpet you laid out for him. Ship him and move on with your lives. Any man that turns down 50million dollars a year to play Basketball for you. DOES NOT WANT TO PLAY FOR YOU!

  6. nader

    I used to love watching Huoston becaause of harden but right now I feel sorry for HR and the way he is acting like a child,he is not a star,he is a big baby and a joke

  7. El Don

    I for once agree with Harden!
    He ain’t in no rush to not comeback to a team that knows he ain’t wanting to play there!
    All that is in HOU’s FO shoulders, fans always blame players not teams, but reality is that almost always teams are at fault not players!
    Harden politely, nicely, timely & to the advantage of HOU told them in no uncertain terms that he didn’t wanna be there no more… why on earth HOU didn’t respect his will & trade him?
    Can’t diss a megastar like that & try to look pretty!
    He has the obligation to play for them, but not to compete or build a positive atmosphere!
    ~#FreeTheBeard

    • Lakers1

      He signed a contract that’s why.. they are under no obligation to trade him.. you are blaming the team for harden? Harden is a little girl that will never win a ring.

      #finethebeard..

      • stubby66

        Amen what you said I say suspend him without pay!!!! Go find another job

      • Jason Lancaster

        The contract allows for trades.

        If the shoe was on the other foot, and Harden did not want to be traded but Houston wanted him gone, would you be here complaining about the team not honoring the contract?

        • El Don

          So very true Jason!
          All the fans here are curmudgeons, blindly following teams!

        • Lakers1

          Their is a right way and a wrong way to do things.. you are right, contracts are tradeable.. but him not showing up because he doesn’t want to play, he’s still being paid.. rockets ca t just close the doors on the player and not pay Them because they don’t want to.. him signing the contract commits him to that team or whatever teams holds the contract.. doesn’t commit the player to just not show up and go to a strip club rather then be there for his teammates. Need to be a professional..

          • Jason Lancaster

            If the Rockets believe Harden is violating the terms of the contract, they can fine him. But if they fine him, his trade value decreases, so they probably won’t do that.

            The Rockets could also send Harden home and make him sit out the next 2 years – that’s in the contract too. And the Rockets front office could go in front of the cameras, explain Harden is a bad egg, that they’re not allowing him to have contact with the team, and do a tremendous amount of damage to his reputation – all without violating the terms of the contract.

            But then the Rockets couldn’t trade him for much value, so they won’t do that.

            The fact is, the Rockets have the power to “send a message” to Harden, but they don’t want to. They want to trade him for a “king’s ransom.”

            Which is why they’re in this position. Houston could end the whole thing tomorrow if they weren’t treating Harden like an asset.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Bro do you read what you write lol ??
      He makes 45 mill a yr. The team is built around him.
      And you say “He has the obligation to play for them”
      Geez thanks
      “But not to compete or build a positive atmosphere”
      Really ???? Dude I wouldn’t hire you as a waiter.
      What else is there for a 45 million dollar man to do. Than to compete and build a positive atmosphere. Too funny man. I’m sure you would be ok with Bron being like this. Or even AD or even Caruso. Please give us a team in the history of Sports. That wins with players who don’t compete or want to build a positive atmosphere on their TEAM. Sarcasm right ??

    • jjd002

      Well those other teams should have offered a legit package. Why should the Rockets just trade him for peanuts because he wants out, after they bent over backwards for him?

  8. specialfriedrice

    Where is this hero commissioner now…fine this moron ffs…what a disgraceful leader.

    No respect for the league or fans at all…

    Imagine being given an over and above contract and then thinking it’s my right to decide when I will participate in work…

  9. I Beg To Differ

    Pacers should definitely jump in.

    Oladipo, Turners and picks for Harden.

    Oladipo is also disgruntled and both could use a change of scenery I feel like.

    Pacers missed out on Hayward. They definitely could use Hardens scoring ability in the east.

    Rockets can either keep Oladipo and/or Turner or flip them elsewhere for draft capital if they want to rebuild.

    • Lakers1

      Oladipo is hilarious.. he’s had one really good year and now thinks hes elite.. maybe figure out a way to play before making demands for a trade when the team that picked you up gave you your chance to shine as a player.. magic didn’t and okc didn’t.. the pacers did

  10. padam

    Gets paid 40M+ per year and can’t show up for the first day of work. Folks are unemployed, etc. and this guy gets paid for a craft that he enjoys and takes it for granted. It’s a privilege, not an entitlement. Treat it as such.

    • DeathbyDeathwest

      James Harden is an otherworldly skilled basketball player working in a monopolistic business under a contract which provides how/when he gets paid, and what happens when he doesn’t show up for work.

      Stop comparing these guys to replacement level minimum wage workers.

      • DeathbyDeathwest

        That said, this situation is pretty hilarious, from a basketball standpoint

        • DeathbyDeathwest

          His parents? Himself? His youth coaches?

          His talent enables his employment and lifestyle. The NBA pays the maximum rate it set with the NBAPA.

  11. afsooner02

    This should be an interesting divorce. Harden is basically daring the Houston front office to fine/suspend him while he goes out and parties with his friends. The rest of the team is getting ready for the season. Really endearing himself to his new teammates.

    Step 2 of forcing your way out of a team is in effect. We’ll see how Houston front office reacts, but looks like we’re headed towards a really ugly divorce.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Houston all but asked for this when they replaced the coach and the GM with rookies. No player is going to look at that and think “Cool! That’s how you win a ring!”

      Houston ownership cutting costs for years doesn’t help either.

  12. Jason Lancaster

    Harden is doing what he can to force a trade, but without triggering any fines or official sanction. He’s also potentially reducing his trade value, because now everyone knows the rumors are true and he wants out (only probably not because he’s Harden).

    The lesson here for front offices: Work with your players, and help them find a new team if/when they want out. To do anything else only hurts the team.

    The lesson here for fans: Houston isn’t serious about contending. If they were, Harden wouldn’t be trying to force a trade.

    • El Don

      You right Jason!
      How folks can’t see that all of this is HOU’s fault, they knew & I am sure wanted for it to get rough, so they can blame Harden!
      When all along no one can doubt that for the last 2-3 years they have been doing above & beyond to fail Harden & the team!
      Give me a break!
      Always blaming the players like a bunch of lemmings!
      #FreeTheBeardNow

      • Jason Lancaster

        I’d bet that Harden AND Westbrook asked out as soon as they heard Fertitta fired Morey (and, contrary to what has been reported, you can bet Morey was fired…why else would both Morey and D’Antoni “decide to leave” the same day?). Firing Morey was yet another dumb decision by a dumb owner who cares more about profits than putting up a championship team.

        Harden and Westbrook probably got the song and dance, and leaked their trade requests once it was clear Houston’s front office wasn’t going to do anything.

        Fans will be mad at Harden, but the real villain here is Fertitta. He’s created this whole mess with his stupid opinion about Chris Paul’s “worst contract ever,” his decision to trade way good talent to cut costs, and his decision to fire both the coach and the front office in the same year.

        Ferttita is rapidly approaching Dolan-esque levels of incompetence.

        • Black Ace57

          I’m pretty sure Tim Macmahon who is the Rockets ESPN insider who has written repeatedly about Fertitta being still mad that he felt Morey abandoned ship saying he was taking a year off and then changed his mind and went to the Sixers. Also, it has been repeatedly written that a big reason why both Morey and Dantoni left were they knew this was coming. Love your conspiracy theory Sillivan-esque takes on the Rockets in this comment section though.

          • Jason Lancaster

            Well, I don’t know what happened on the plane ride back, but neither do you, right?

            I know what was reported, and I know that people don’t like to say they were fired any more than organizations like to publicize firings of high profile individuals.

            But sure. I bet you’re right, and it’s all a big coinkydink. LOL.

          • Col. Sanders

            So now it’s time we should blindly believe what medias are saying instead of using common sense?

            We don’t know for sure what exactly happend but after 13 years of building franchise which still could be in contention you don’t abandon everything just like that. But be naive and think other wise…

  13. KnickerbockerAl

    What all you should know. Harden is opening up a high end restaurant close to downtown Houston. Suppose to open in summertime “13”. Its called Thirteen. So I doubt he wants to go out looking bad. Cause it will hurt the business. Especially after Covid19. So I’m sure he will be on his best behavior. This is just minor. He’s not messing with his money. It’s his priority cause winning isn’t. This team gets off to bad start. He’ll want out.

    • x%sure

      He already wants out. Good info but the unwritten rules of forcing out says to be bad and make management give up on you and look for trades. People were not getting it with Jimmy Butler but by now, the diners at “13” will know what’s up and blame Fertitta.
      Harden is not money-motivated right now.

  14. KnickerbockerAl

    link to nypost.com

    Even Hardens Mom is campaigning for a trade lols.
    If I was Rockets I’d ask for >>>>
    Dinwiddie, LeVert, Allen, 4 #1 picks. See how bad they want him. LeVert will be an all star. Dinwiddie is a solid PG who can start. Great third guard, now Rockets can move Gordon for picks. Allen will be a good big. If Wall is 90% this is a good team. With a future. Allen let’s Cousins come off bench and play less mins. Therefore will be more effective, With all the picks you can collect. And even a player. They will be able to move up a very good draft next yr. Just like that back in business. But I would take two #1 picks and two future swaps. After their stars are gone. Nets will be in lottery in 4-5 yrs.

    • Lakers1

      Gonna take more than that.. holiday got 3 picks and Bledsoe and hill.. ad got 3 picks and ingram, ball and hart.. if i was rockets, I’d trade his ass to kings or Cavs.. he wants to act like a prima Donna send him to 2 crap destination

      • Count that baby and a foul!

        Pistons will take him for D.Rose, Blake, take the protections off the firat they have of ours, and maybe 1 more first.

  15. I'm a starboy not a Dr...

    Rox will get the best value by trading him to Indy for Oladipo & Turner and getting 2 picks back…

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