The James Harden Saga is so completely covered in Houston that there isn’t much for us to recognize his end time with Missiles. Between the videos on social media and the reports from various media outlets, we know everything, from what Harden was doing in his spare time to the discussions that were raging in the Rockets’ front office.
However, we got a new piece of information on Monday, with permission from A. Report from Kelly Eco and Sam Ameek from The Athletic, Which details what happened before the successful four-team trade that Harden sent to Brooklyn Networks. Everyone is aware of the now infamous press conference, in which Harden said the situation could not be fixed.
However, what was unknown is that shortly before that, the Rockets had a tense team meeting where John Wall And the Cousins of DeMarcus Demand accountability from Harden:
Tired of bizarre behaviors, the group is tired of headlines and constant questions about Harden’s state of mind and where all this has been happening. And with each day Harden stayed in Houston, his presence became increasingly cumbersome for a team that just wanted to feel clarity and understanding.
During the meeting, led by Silas, which sealed his decision to keep Harden out of the team’s subsequent activities until the deal was completed, sources say several of his colleagues expressed their dissatisfaction with Harden’s recent body language and his efforts. Silas had asked if anyone wanted to share his unfiltered views, and the dialogue about the dysfunction started from there.
John Wall and Demarkus Cousins spoke during the meeting, the sources said, seeking a direct response to Hardin’s level of commitment and preaching about the importance of accountability. To those who have been with the Rockets when Westbrook was preaching the same message to anyone who would listen, these uncomfortable dynamics were all too familiar.
This is actually not all surprising. Harden clearly didn’t want to be in Houston, and between his pre-season antics and playing on the ground, he didn’t seem to be taking the start of the season seriously. In the last five matches before the trade, he averaged just 17.4 points on 37.8 per cent of the field, numbers that were well below his usual standards.
Even when a player has the same star power as Harden, his teammates will only endure it for a long time. Especially when the two of them are from Wall and Cousins, and they’ve each spent years making their way home from major injuries to be able to play again.