The Houston Rockets are in crisis mode thanks to James Harden’s comments after a second straight blowout loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Houston Rockets appear to have entered full-blown crisis mode on Tuesday night after a second straight blowout loss to the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. In the Rockets’ postgame media session, All-Star James Harden expressed his dismay at where his now 3-6 team found itself.
“We’re just not good enough. Chemistry, talent-wise, everything. I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can. This situation is crazy, but it’s something that I don’t think you can fix.”
He then thanked the media and left the podium.
It’s a situation that has been percolating for some time, since the end of last season when an exodus led by former head coach Mike D’Antoni and former general manager Daryl Morey inspired both Harden and Russell Westbrook to demand trades.
Westbrook got his trade, with the Washington Wizards sending back John Wall in exchange, but Harden’s skills have massive value to both the Rockets and any team that would receive him in a deal. As a result, he’s far too good to dump off for any old swap. The Rockets are holding out for a Jrue Holiday-type haul of half a decade’s worth of draft control, valuable young players and useful rotational veterans.
Basically, a historic ransom is what it’s going to take to get James Harden out of Houston.
While the Rockets are doing well to perform their due diligence and maximize their value, they have an increasingly toxic situation brewing on their hands in the form of a miserable and disgruntled superstar. It’s a move that could backfire if Harden’s distaste for the situation continues to escalate, which appears to be the case if the normally private star is airing out his innermost thoughts for all the world to hear.
Other teams will be certain to note growing desperation from the Rockets camp, and that’s a disaster in its own right.
His teammates are more than aware of these comments as well. Following Harden’s time on the podium, John Wall spoke to the media and addressed the situation.
“It’s only been nine games. Come on, man, you want to jump off the cliff after nine games?”
It’s hard not to feel for Wall. After missing the last two seasons with injuries, he finally has the opportunity to get back on the floor and play alongside an All-Star and a legitimate superstar in Harden and a rising young offensive standout in Christian Wood. But before his new team has even hit the double-digit game mark, his backcourt mate has completely given up on the situation.
Wall deserves better, as does new Houston Rockets head coach Stephen Silas. Finally getting the chance to feature offensively, this isn’t the situation Christian Wood expected himself to be in. And DeMarcus Cousins finally got the chance to play with former Kentucky teammate John Wall, but this is the place the Rockets find themselves in.
The pieces are there for this to be a fun team that wins plenty of games and can play for each other as a brotherhood. There’s just one issue with that equation, and unfortunately, that issue is one of the best players in the NBA.
It’s hard to see an easy way out of this for anybody at this point.