Having John Wall just starting to look like his old self and Christian Wood emerged as a beast pick-and-roll partner, there was, for a brief moment, a last-second sense of hope that perhaps James Harden would take back his trade demand, yet unfortunately, now it’s clear what’s on his mind.
Despite talks had died down on Harden’s public preseason demand, Harden’s statement on Tuesday implied him wanting out of Houston.
Houston got smoked by the Lakers to fall to a Western Conference-worst 3-7 for the season, Harden only needed a few words to say everything about the situation with the Rockets, who Harden proclaimed are “just not good enough.”
“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.”
“We’re not even close, honestly, to [the Lakers] — obviously the defending champions — and all the other elite teams out there,” Harden said. “I mean, you can tell the difference in these last two games.
“Chemistry, talent-wise, everything. It’s clear,” Harden continued. “I love this city. I’ve literally done everything I can. It’s crazy. I don’t think it can be fixed. Thanks.”
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Harden is in one of the biggest scoring slump of his career. He’s been held to 20 points or less for four straight games, a streak he hasn’t experienced since 2011-12, with the Oklahoma City Thunder before he was traded to the Rockets.
Harden’s new backcourt partner, John Wall, weighed in on the dysfunction surrounding Harden and the team – both directly and indirectly.
“I think it’s been a little rocky. Can’t lie about that,” Wall said regarding how things have been going with him and Harden as a duo. “I don’t think it’s been the best it could be, to be honest. That’s all I really can say.”
Wall, though, also seemed to criticize Harden’s commitment to the team, without mentioning the longtime Rockets star by name.
“I told the guys before, when the 1-through-15 guys all on the same page and they commit and they know their role and they know what they want to do and they know what they want to get out of this, and that’s to win, you all will be fine. But when you have certain guys in the mix that don’t want to buy-in all as one, it’s going to be hard to do anything special or do anything good as a basketball team,” Wall said.
“We can’t dwell down on it because it’s only been nine games. Like, come on man, you want to jump off the cliff off of nine games? There’s a lot of basketball still to be played,” Wall added.