Stephen Jackson Calls Out James Harden for His Preseason Antics, Rockets Trade Request
James Harden has made it clear to the Houston Rockets that he wants out of Clutch City and former NBA forward Stephen Jackson isn’t happy about it.
Jackson, a Houston native and former enforcer in the NBA, has never been one to mince words and that trend has continued during the Harden trade drama with the Rockets.
While it’s unclear if the Rockets are going to honor Harden’s trade request, one thing is clear: Jackson is pretty upset at how Harden is acting toward his new Black head coach.
James Harden skipped the start of training camp so he could party
Instead of reporting to Rockets’ training camp on time, Harden was in Las Vegas partying with rapper Lil Baby.
The 2018 MVP and a three-time scoring champion, Harden is doing everything he can to let the Rockets know he’s not happy in Houston and wants to be traded to a contender.
The Beard not only turned down a two-year, $103 million extension from the Rockets–per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN–but he also posted pictures on his Instagram account of him going wild with Lil Baby in Las Vegas while his Rockets teammates were in Houston partaking in training camp.
Houston traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards for John Wall, who has a close relationship with Harden. The Rockets were hoping that Wall and DeMarcus Cousins’ arrival to the team would change Harden’s mind about wanting out.
However, Harden still wants to be traded by the Rockets and is looking to get dealt to a contender such as the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers or Miami Heat.
Stephen Jackson rips Harden for not supporting his new head coach
Stephen Jackson isn’t pleased that Harden, one of the best players in the NBA, is treating his new Black head coach like a castaway.
After former Coach of the Year Mike D’Antoni decided not to come back to Houston, the Rockets hired Stephen Silas as their new coach. Jackson was happy with the hire since Silas is only the seventh Black head coach in the NBA.
However, Silas has been put into a really tough situation in his first head-coaching job. Both Westbrook and Harden have requested trades–with Westbrook getting his wish and being traded to the Wizards–and Harden showed up to training camp late on purpose.
Jackson blasted Harden for partying with Lil Baby instead of supporting his new head coach. It certainly won’t be the last time Jackson goes off on an NBA player, as the one-time champion has no filter.
The Rockets played their first two preseason games against the Chicago Bulls without Harden, who eventually showed up to training camp after passing his COVID-19 tests.
Harden, though, doesn’t appear to be a fan of Silas. The All-Star guard wanted the Rockets to hire Tyronn Lue after D’Antoni left, but owner Tilman Fertitta wasn’t on board with that plan, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.
Harden and the Rockets are headed for a messy divorce
The Rockets are under no obligation to trade Harden since he has two years left on his contract.
However, all signs point toward Harden and Houston heading for a messy divorce.
Harden will likely start the upcoming season on the Rockets and remain professional to the best of his ability while also putting pressure on Houston’s front office to trade him to one of his desired destinations.
During his holdout, Harden and Silas had zero communication, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. The two had a brief interaction when Harden reported to camp, with Silas saying “hello” to his star player.
It’s evident that Harden has no desire to play for Silas and change his mind about wanting out of Clutch City.
To avoid the turmoil that the Minnesota Timberwolves went through with Jimmy Butler and the New Orleans Pelicans dealt with Anthony Davis–both stars requested trades and sat out games before getting traded–the Rockets would be wise to trade Harden sooner rather than later.
However, Houston has to get the best offer possible for Harden, who is one of the best scorers in NBA history.
The entire NBA world is waiting to see if and when James Harden gets traded. While he’s still in Houston, expect Harden to play well, but drama and rumors to swirl behind the scenes.