As far as we know, James Harden is yet to be fined for missing mandatory media availability and not following the league COVID protocols. The mess going on in Houston is largely a result of superstars getting away with murder, and the NBA seems to be repeating the Rockets’ mistake.
We’ll see if Harden will start following the league’s COVID protocols, but he did show up for media availability for the first time since his trade request. Professional athletes are reaching Senat and Congress levels of answering questions with non-answers, but even Harden couldn’t keep it completely cool while explaining his Atlanta and Las Vegas trips.
The little laugh when MacMahon asked him what he was training for and Harden said, “The start of the NBA season” is pure gold. As much as I criticize the guy for the way he plays basketball, I gotta give him props for this answer. If you think about it, he did not lie.
MacMahon’s great story revealed how much time Harden spends in nocturnal establishments throughout the NBA season. If you want your workouts to be as close to the real thing as possible, pulling an Atlanta-Vegas-NBA game road trip is spot on for a regular Harden week in the NBA.
Harden’s unorthodox approach to conditioning is one of the things making teams reluctant to go all in and start talking with Houston in the price range they are asking for The Beard. As durable as Harden’s been in his career, he’s also disappeared in crucial moments in the playoffs. The only time James Harden’s heart rate is above 60 on the basketball court is when he has the ball. Defense or not having the ball on offense? Not interested.
“More importantly, if you’re out there and want to trade for Harden, you probably had a good idea of this anyway, but you’re seeing this story, you’re learning about this, you’re looking at a guy not dedicated to his conditioning, looking at a guy who turned down a $100M extension and didn’t dedicate to his conditioning, a guy who has put his teammates and coach in a horrible position and is saying come trade for me. It’s pushing the limits of star power to the nth degree.”Brian Windhorst, Rich Eisen Show
Trading Ben Simmons and a lot more (or Tyler Herro and a lot more) for James Harden would only make sense if he guaranteed to spend more time on the treadmill than in a strip club, commit to playing defense, and run on offense even if the play isn’t revolving around him. If you’re lucky, he may even throw in a screen or two. From everything we’ve found out, what are the chances for that? Exactly.
Rockets fans, start talking yourself into Wall and Boogie.