The Rockets tried their best to make things work this season, waiting until the season started to try and force James Harden to play with the new roster.
Their hope was that his faith in the team would be restored after seeing how all the pieces would work together.
Instead, Harden only became a disruption — a star who wasn’t giving his full effort because he very clearly didn’t want to be there. Apparently, things got so bad that John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins had to call him out for it during a team meeting…
“Harden’s effort in his last four games had waned considerably, marking a night-and-day difference from those first three games of the season, in which the former MVP had looked like his special self, even as he worked his way back into shape.
During the meeting, which was led by Silas, and which sealed his decision to keep Harden out of subsequent team activities until a trade was complete, sources say multiple teammates expressed displeasure with Harden’s recent body language and effort. Silas had asked if anyone wanted to share their unfiltered views, and the dialogue about their dysfunction began from there.
John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins both spoke during the meeting, sources said, seeking a direct response on Harden’s level of commitment and preaching about the importance of accountability. For those who had been with the Rockets back when Westbrook preached the same message to anyone who would listen, these uncomfortable dynamics were all too familiar,” wrote The Athletic.
Harden made life miserable for the Rockets since his trade demand went public in October. The constant headlines and speculation only served as a headache and distraction that made each day an uphill climb.
That meeting might have really been the last straw for the Rockets, who pulled the trigger on the Brooklyn deal not long after.
What “the Beard” will be able to do from here on out is anyone’s guess, but his loyalty, commitment, and work ethic will always be in doubt as a result of this whole ordeal, and Houston fans may never forgive him for how he chose to handle his departure.