James Harden Drops 44 Points And 17 Assists In Regular Season Debut After Training Camp Debacle
In James Harden‘s regular season debut, he had 44 points and 17 assists. The Rockets just barely lost in overtime to the Blazers but it appeared the Rockets’ franchise player was off to a good start.
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But, if you’ve been following NBA training camp news before the regular season began last week, you may have heard before the opening tip off, it wasn’t necessary a smooth start.
Harden reportedly didn’t show up to training camp until later and “after eight All-Star seasons with the Rockets, (Harden) (was) pushing for a trade out of Houston” according to ESPN.
Harden, according to multiple reports, eventually did make his way back to Houston to report for training camp.
Harden said he was training for the season in Atlanta and Vegas with personal trainers, according to Bleacher Report.
On top of this, ESPN reports that Harden was “fined $50,000 by the NBA and was ruled ‘unavailable’ for (December 23’s) game due to a violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols after the league reviewed video of him socializing maskless at a club earlier this week”.
ESPN said that game was also being postponed as the Rockets “didn’t have the league-required eight available players needed to proceed with the game”. But, “Harden tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne”.
According to ESPN, “Harden has told NBA investigators he believed he was in compliance with health and safety protocols, a source close to the situation told Shelburne”.
“One thing after another. I went to show love to my homegirl at her event (not a strip club) because she is becoming a boss and putting her people in position of success and now it’s a problem,” Harden said in an Instagram post per ESPN. “Everyday it’s something different. No matter how many times people try to drag my name under you can’t. The real always end on top.”
Here’s NBA commish Adam Silver talking about why the NBA didn’t suspend Harden:
The Rockets guard also put up 34 points, eight assists, and six rebounds in the most recent Rockets game against the Nuggets.
An ESPN report on December 16 said the Rockets and Harden were at a “breaking point” after years of different types of situations.
Here’s what Harden’s new coach, Stephen Silas had to say about the recent situation, as reported by Yahoo! Sports on December 19:
“It can’t be a concern, because that would be taking our eye off the ball, he has been committed since he’s been here, he’s been great in practice,” ,” Silas said per Yahoo! Sports. “Good to talk to, listening, trying, asking good questions, pulling me aside and telling me things that he sees. For all of us, it’s important to look toward what’s important, which is preparing to win game number one.”
The Rockets are trying to win their first game after going 0-2 in the regular season so far.
Harden is apparently tired of all the drama surrounding the situation. It looks like the beard just wants you to talk to the hand:
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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