It’s pretty clear that James Harden and the Houston Rockets are most likely headed toward a divorce. It’s been a couple of months since reports came out that Harden would like out of Houston, and now that the season has started and he’s still there, things aren’t going too well. His new teammate, John Wall, seems to be getting frustrated with how things are going already, too.
James Harden and the Houston Rockets are struggling
The Rockets have not been good at all through their first nine games. They are 3-6, and are allowing 113.2 points per game while only scoring 111.3 points per game.
James Harden hasn’t been the same Harden as in years past, either. Harden led the NBA in points per game in each of the last three seasons. He even scored 36.1 points per game in 2018-19 and 34.3 points per game in 2019-20. So far this season, though, he is only averaging 24.8 points per game on 34.7% shooting from 3-point range, which is tied for a career-worst.
Harden has been really bad in each of the last five games, too. After scoring 44, 34, and 33 in his first three games, Harden has scored 21 points or fewer in each of his previous five games and is only averaging 17.4 points in those games. Harden has also only shot 37.8% from the field during this stretch and 25.6% from 3-point range.
This has led to some embarrassing losses, too, as the Rockets fell to the LA Lakers 120-102 on Jan. 10. They then lost to the Lakers again, 117-100, on Jan. 12.
James Harden said he doesn’t think things ‘can be fixed’ in Houston
After the Rockets’ 117-100 loss to the Lakers, Harden made some comments that continued to prove his displeasure with Houston.
“We’re just not good enough,” Harden said, according to USA today’s Rockets Wire. “Obviously chemistry, talent-wise, just… everything. It was clear. … I love this city. I’ve literally done everything I can. This situation is crazy. It’s something that, I don’t think it can be fixed.”
He also doesn’t think that the Rockets can even really compete with the reigning NBA champion LA Lakers.
“We’re not even close, honestly, to that team — obviously the defending champions — and all the other elite teams out there,” Harden said, according to ESPN. “I mean, you can tell the difference in these last two games.”
It appears that he isn’t the only one frustrated now, either.
John Wall appears to be tired of the drama
John Wall talked to reporters after the Rockets’ Jan. 12 loss to the Lakers, and he didn’t blatantly call out James Harden by any means. He never even used his name. But when you look at context clues, and you know that Harden wants out of Houston, it starts to become pretty clear who Wall was talking about when speaking to the media.
“There’s a lot of guys here that want to compete at a high level,” Wall said, according to ESPN. “Like I told everybody tonight and told the guys before, when one through 15 guys are all on the same page and they commit and they know their role and they know what they want to get out of this and that’s to win, it’ll all 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 anything good as a basketball team.”
He continued, per Rockets Wire: “We can’t dwell down on it because it’s only been nine games. Come on man, you want to jump off the cliff after nine games? It’s a lot of basketball still to be played.”
The sad thing for Wall is that Harden was potentially over the thought of spending another season in Houston well before the two of them even started playing games together. He didn’t need nine games to figure it out.
The Houston Rockets will be an interesting team to follow as the season continues.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference