It is no secret that James Harden wants out of Houston. The 31-year-old has made it it clear he wants to win a NBA championship as he enters the latter stages of his career, and the eight-time All-Star believes that his ambition is far-fetched with the Rockets. And in a latest jibe at the Rockets, 'The Beard' believes that the franchise is 'not good enough' in a first public acknowledgement of his discord with the franchise.
In what had all the makings of a James Harden farewell speech, the 31-year-old said that the Rockets are just not good enough after the defeat against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Rockets have endured one of their worst possible starts to the new season, and are 3-6 in the Western Conference after their twin defeats to the defending champions at home. James Harden had remained quiet through months of speculation that he is unhappy in Houston but 'The Beard' finally made known of his situation at Houston.
This is how James Harden walked off the podium tonight. It sounded like a farewell pic.twitter.com/fnY2h6dnHP— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) January 13, 2021
Speaking to the press, James Harden said ,“We’re just not good enough ... I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can,” Harden said. “I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.” Accoridng to ESPN, Houston's front office is determined to remain patient until its asking price for the 2018 NBA MVP is met. Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Rockets are still looking to trade Harden for a "steep" price while Tim MacMahon cited a source as saying Houston have been in contact with "more than a half dozen teams" about trading the 31-year-old.
James Harden's aware that the Rockets are continuing to discuss trade scenarios with teams, although no deal is imminent, sources tell ESPN. Houston's asking price remains steep, as you'd expect it would for a player of Harden's caliber. https://t.co/I4RuHgzcvU— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 13, 2021
ESPN also reports that James Harden spoke to Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta before the season and informed that he did not believe in the franchise's vision and wanted to be traded to a team that was in a better position to win the NBA. Fertitta was naturally disappointed, but agreed to look for a market for him, if a deal is agreed which new general manager Rafael Stone likes. The Beard reportedly was keen on joining former OKC Thunder teammate Kevin Durant at the Brooklyn Nets, with the 32-year-old having won the NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors.
John Wall on James Harden wanting out of Houston: “Come on man, you want to jump off the ship after nine games?”— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) January 13, 2021
James Harden's comments did not sit well with teammate John Wall, who also fielded questions from the press following the Rockets' second consecutive loss to the Lakers. Wall, who joined the Rockets in the offseason after being traded for Russell Westbrook, took a dig at Harden, but did not mention The Beard by name. The 30-year-old said, "“If we can all get on the same page, we can be something good here. We can’t dwell down on it because it’s only been nine games. Come on man, you want to jump off a cliff after nine games. It’s a lot of basketball still to be played".