REPORTS: James Harden Misbehaving with Rockets’ Teammates During Practice

Published 12/22/2020, 12:27 PM EST
GUANGZHOU, CHINA – AUGUST 12: The NBA player James Harden of the Houston Rockets attends a commercial event at Haixinsha Asian Games Theme Park on August 12, 2017 in Guangzhou, China.  (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


All is not great at the Houston Rockets‘ forefront. As the team gets prepared to face Oklahoma City Thunder in its season opener, franchise star James Harden is not making things easier for the team. At first, it seemed like Harden was just under war with the organization for not trading him as requested. Now it looks like even his teammates are bearing the brunt of his impatience.

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So, who had to be on the receiving end of his wrath? Let’s find out.

James Harden and his antics

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Backing up a few weeks, the first red flag came up when Harden did not show up for training camp. At first head coach, Stephen Silas claimed that he could not come because of COVID-19 protocols. However, when the superstar was seen partying on various occasions, he was criticized for being unprofessional.

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 13: James Harden (13) of the Houston Rockets has words for a referee during the first half against the Denver Nuggets on Monday, November 13, 2018. The Denver Nuggets hosted the Houston Rockets at the Pepsi Center. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

After the Rockets had another disappointing exit from the playoffs, they went through some big changes for a fresh start. First, head coach Mike D’Antoni was fired, after which GM Daryl Morey also resigned, only to join the Philadelphia 76ers.

This was the last straw for Harden. He immediately requested a trade to the Brooklyn Nets in the offseason. But, things are more complicated than that for the Rockets. They aren’t willing to give up a player they consider one of the best in the league without getting the best value in return. And unfortunately for Harden, no such option is available on the table.

Tensions rising between the Rockets’ teammates

When Harden finally returned for practice with the team, it seemed like the two will peacefully come to a consensus about their future. However, Harden just seems to be spiraling out of control.

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According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, “Harden has had multiple verbal confrontations with teammates in practice on Sunday and Monday, and one confrontation included Harden throwing a basketball at a teammate on Monday.”

Things got a little out of hand with teammate Jae’Sean Tate. “Sources say Harden and rookie Jae’Sean Tate had a heated exchange during Monday’s practice, culminating in Harden throwing the ball in Tate’s direction. The ball did not hit Tate.”

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 12: James Harden attends Black Ops Basketball Run on September 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images)

Considering Harden’s calm and laid back personality, this does seem a little out of character. Holding him captive any longer doesn’t make any more sense for the Rockets. As long as he stays, he won’t be happy and it will clearly create more problems than they can handle. What is your perspective on this situation? Is Harden right on his part to behave this way?

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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