Rockets’ Players, Silas Discuss Harden Situation

On Tuesday night, James Harden said that he didn’t feel as if the Rockets were “good enough” to compete with the NBA’s best teams, suggesting that there wasn’t enough talent on the roster and that he didn’t think the situation could be fixed.

Those comments may essentially represent his farewell to Houston, as they appear to have accelerated the Rockets’ efforts to trade him. They also didn’t sit well with some of the teammates he was throwing under the bus.

Addressing the situation today, DeMarcus Cousins pointedly stated that he came to Houston to play with John Wall, and expressed his displeasure with Harden’s public critique of the Rockets and the way he has handled himself over the last month or two.

“He can feel however he wants to about the organization or whatever his current situation is, but the other 14 guys in the locker room have done nothing to him,” Cousins said, per James Herbert of CBS Sports (Twitter link). “So for us to be on the receiving end of some of the disrespectful comments and antics, it’s completely unfair to us.”

While Cousins was referring in part to Harden’s press conference on Tuesday, he made it clear that it’s not as if everyone was on the same page up until then.

“The disrespect started way before any interview,” Cousins said (Twitter link via Herbert). “Just the approach to training camp, showing up the way he did, the antics off the court. I mean the disrespect started way before.”

While other Rockets players who have addressed the Harden situation since Tuesday night weren’t quite as blunt as Cousins, Christian Wood acknowledged that the situation has “been going on since training camp” and said Harden’s comments hurt team chemistry (Twitter links via Herbert).

Wall, who spoke to reporters shortly after Harden did on Tuesday, expressed his frustration with his backcourt mate’s unwillingness to buy in.

“When the one through 15 guys are all on the same page… you all will be fine,” Wall said (video link via Bleacher Report). “But when you have certain guys in the mix that don’t want to buy in all as one, it’s going to be hard do anything special or do anything good as a basketball team.

“… It’s only been nine games. Like, come on, man, you’re gonna jump off the cliff off of nine games? There’s a lot of basketball still to be played.”

Head coach Stephen Silas was diplomatic about the situation, telling the media today that Harden “was nothing but professional” to him personally and calling the saga a “crazy NBA situation” (Twitter links via Herbert). With Harden away from the team, Silas said he’s focused on the other players on Houston’s roster.

“The reaction (to Tuesday’s comments) was less about what James said and more about the group, and how the group would feel about what he said,” Silas said, noting that he believes the Rockets are better than their 3-6 record suggests. “That was my main concern because that’s hard to hear. Especially when you don’t believe it and you know it not to be true.”

While it seemed for a time that the Rockets might drag out their Harden trade talks until the March deadline, it now appears likely that a deal will be completed this week.

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12 thoughts on “Rockets’ Players, Silas Discuss Harden Situation

  1. Cap & Crunch

    Anyone who watched the 2 game series vs the Lakers has to have had lost some respect for Harden

    He visibly sabotaged his team on the court then decided to take a double dip on the microphone before he hit the showers –

    I always gave him the benefit of the doubt until the last 2 games – You NEVER do that as a Pro to your teammates No matter how Loud the Noise

    • jjd002

      That’s exactly it. He has become hated in Houston. I don’t think most people care too much if a player wants to be traded, but almost everyone has a problem with how he handled it. Haven’t seen a fall from grace that quick in this city.

  2. davethemailman

    It seems like Harden is just phoning it in and putting himself before the team.

  3. KAM72

    As a longtime Rockets fan it is time to just move on. Harden has visibly dogged it all season and the same goes for Tucker who may be moved as well. Wall has looked fantastic since returning, Cousins is in the best shape I have ever seen him in and Wood is proving the end of last year was no fluke. The Rockets will be ok. It may take them a bit to gel but long term, barring no injuries, they will be better off.

    • Cap & Crunch

      I agree, and thats why I think this sitch is soooo odd….

      Most times when you lose someone of his magnitude your teams going to take a huge stumble ….here I actually think they can be better entering 2022 then they were in say 2020 (Also younger/out of any cap causalities/ and building back up the draft capital. All this while ditching some odd style that was never going to win 4 playoff series in a row)

      They are 1 good trade away from a fantastic turnaround in lightning quick time for a professional sports franchise- Im actually rooting for them to pull it off. The Wall trade was a steal and Wood looks like the signing of the off season so far

  4. nader

    Harden used to be a joy to watch but not anymore to be honest,it’s time to trade him and move on,they should trade Tucker and Gordon as well,ASAP

  5. hook316

    Harden is a selfish baby. Boo hoo, I get 40M to play a game but it’s not fair because I don’t like who I’m playing with. Wahhhh. Guess what? Brooklyn won’t win the Championship either.

  6. arc89

    I feel bad for KD to be in a locker room with both Harden and Irving claiming who is the greatest ever. They will have a great offensive team with no defense. Its the second coming of the running rebels NBA style.

  7. El Don

    Rent free babies! Rent free!
    One can’t believe how much real state Harden owns in your lil’ heads!

  8. KnickerbockerAl

    I got opinions about dogs making on my lawn. Don’t mean they are in my head. I love dogs.
    I’ve been saying it since Harden came out with trade demands. Why would you want him on your team. Rockets have known who he is, for a long time. Real Rocket fans know it’s been McHale, Howard, CP3, DAntoni, Morey, Westbrook. It’s not something new. He’s been a problem. A problem they let fester and finally explode. Can’t feel sorry for them. I agree totally with Cousins. Even Wood is blasting him. He had to go. Rockets did well to get good value. Considering everyone knew he wanted out. I’m sure no matter what is in the news. He only had 2-3 teams he would go to. So this is best thing for Rockets and NBA. Even if it’s epic fail for Nets. It will be must watch tv. This is a team game. No one is bigger than the game. Every HOFer will tell you that. Everyone who has a ring will tell you that.

  9. KnickerbockerAl

    For all the geniuses that berate 19-22 yr olds. OKC basically gave away Harden. He was 23 when he had his breakout yr. And has been one of best scorers in NBA in his 9 yrs in Houston. He’s got great size for his position and is a shooter. Remember today’s game is made for the offensive player. They are protected like QBs are in NFL. Much easier to put up big numbers today than the 90s or less. You all saw “The Last Dance”. When Scottie got on Magic and changed the series. Nobody had ever given Magic trouble with size, ever. Scottie was a long athletic 6’7”. Magic couldn’t go around him or by him. Plus he had MJ on his six. Today you don’t really see that. Closest is the Clippers using Kawhi, George, Morris to deal with Bron. Besides doubling Harden. No team has specifically gone out to stop or disturb him. (His teams don’t win) You need a Kawhi or Butler to play him 3/4 or 1/2 court. Never giving him a three or get going downhill. Simmons could do it too. Today most teams don’t commit that way on the defensive end. Harden is a big guard. So he could have competed in those days. But the point is his numbers are stacked cause it’s not those days.
    You ever wonder why it took so long for a player to avg a triple double for a season. It took over 50 yrs. And only two players have done it. The big O was as big Harden. He played to win not for stats.

    Not only did “The Big O” average a triple double in 1961-62, he averaged a triple double over his first five NBA seasons. In 384 games, he averaged 30.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 10.6 assists.

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