James Harden’s Boiling Point with the Houston Rockets

James Harden was recently traded to the Brooklyn Nets on January 13th because he was supposedly unhappy with the Houston Rockets. Harden has been with the Houston Rockets for a total of 9 years, according to a postgame interview with Harden. Harden was also caught skipping practices to go to parties and wearing a Blue Lives Matter mask after the death of George Floyd as a result of police brutality. His recent behavior has caused him to be a recent focal point for NBA fans.

On January 13th, 2021 news broke that James Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets where he would join former MVPs Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. “We’re just not good enough…” Harden said in a postgame interview with Clutch Points. Harden’s postgame comments led to suspicions of a trade. “He’s never heard ‘no’ before,” former Rockets coach said about Harden.

In a postgame interview days before the announced trade, Harden said, “I love this city.”

After this interview trade talks resurfaced all over the internet. It was apparent that the Rockets were having trade talks with “half a dozen teams,” ESPN stated. Once the news came out that Harden was  officially traded to the Nets, many wondered, “Why would Harden leave after 9 years with the Rockets?”

John Kim, a major basketball fan says, “He was probably tired of carrying the team with no major help. Back then, loyalty meant alot to players and their teams, but nowadays, it’s a different story.” Kim believes that over all these years, Harden is the only player who has done major work which has gotten them to where they are. Dylan Hoang, a young basketball player and fan agrees. He says, “He hasn’t gotten farther than the Western Finals with the Rockets.” Both Kim and Hoang also agree that the move can go both ways. It was a good change for his personal career but some things he did were “childish” as Hoang says.

While on the Houston Rockets it was known for Harden to not follow rules. Tim MacMahon, an ESPN Staff Writer said, “If the Rockets had two or three days between games, it was a good bet Harden would call for an off day and charter a private jet to party in Las Vegas or another city. He always gets an excused absence from the first practice after the All-Star break for the same reason.”

There have also been multiple occasions where Harden goes to party breaking the NBA’s Covid 19 Guidelines MacMahon explains. Harden even skipped his first practices of the season. When mentions to Kim about Harden skipping practices he said, “Skipping practice tells me that he wants ‘out’, that his team doesn’t matter. Not wanting to build further chemistry to win games…kinda sad.”

Once again Hoang and Kim agree as Hoang states, “Harden just pretty much wants to get out of Houston after 9 years of contributing. Along the lines of putting himself and others at risk by breaking Covid-19 Guidelines.” Kim explained that it was “reckless and irresponsible.” He went on to say that as a professional, many fans and children look up to him. “He’s never heard ‘no’ before,” a Houston staff member said.There have been multiple controversies involving Harden.

On May 25th, George Floyd was murdered by two policemen. The world was at a disagreement after that. Riots after riots. Protests after protests. Since that event, everyone is now judged by their political views. During the NBA season in 2020, Harden was seen wearing a Blue Lives Matter mask. Harden received backlash all over social media because of the Blue Lives Matter flag’s association with racism and support of police brutality. During a Zoom call Harden said, “It was just something that covered my whole beard. I thought it looked cool.” To everyone it was just a big misunderstanding. Hoang explains that it was not a good look for his public reputation, but he never wore it in the way most people thought.

Harden has been the center of attention for some time. From his trade, to his partying during a pandemic, to wearing a political mask, everything he has done is being questioned. Many in the Houston franchise would say, “Just James being James.”