James Harden has been one of the biggest trending topic in sports over the course of this month. He reportedly wanted to be traded from the Houston Rockets and has his eyes on teams such as the Heat, Bucks, Nets, and Sixers.
No trade has been made yet but recently, Harden skipped practices to go party wth Lil Baby in Atlanta as well as Las Vegas. He has since returned though and has played in preseason games.
Former Houston Rockets Staffers Say Team Let Harden Do What He Wanted
According to a report by ESPN’s Tim McMahon, former Rockets staffers are now coming out about how the team let Harden run the show. This includes partying whenever he wants as long as he performed well on the court.
“If they have multiple days off, everybody knows: James is going to fly somewhere else and party,” a member of last season’s coaching staff told ESPN. “But he’s going to come back and have a 50-point triple-double, so they’re OK with it.”
Rockets’ Planning For Flights And Team Buses Were Unorganized
“Nothing ever starts on time. The plane is always late. The bus is never on time. … It’s just an organized AAU team.”
Harden was also compared by a former assistant coach to a child who gets candy whenever he wants and is then told no.
“You can’t get mad at your kid if you let him eat candy every night and then suddenly one night you don’t and they throw a tantrum. You’re the one who let them eat candy every night.”
Harden Had To Have Six Consecutive Negative COVID-19 Tests To Participate In Practice With Rockets
The NBA was also very strict about when Harden could return and practice with the Rockets following his partying in Atlanta and Vegas. He reportedly needed six consecutive negative COVID-19 tests in order to get back to basketball activities.
The league also required players to test negative for three consecutive days before being able to go into team facilities for the individual workouts done before training camps had started.
This comes after the NBA had a very successful NBA bubble in Orlando with no positive COVID-19 tests, so they are finding ways to safely return to home arenas.
Harden Said He Was ‘Training’ In Atlanta And Las Vegas
On Wednesday, Harden also told the media that he was training in Atlanta and Las Vegas and not only partying. He claimed that he had personal trainers in both of these cities. This wasn’t documented on social media though as he did with letting people know that he was at Lil Baby’s birthday party and at Drai’s lounge in Vegas. This may be a case of the Rockets letting Harden do what he wants again as long as he performs well in games.