The 2020-21 season has gotten off to a pretty rocky start for the Houston Rockets.
Perhaps the only thing more distracting than their current COVID-19 issues (that resulted in their opener having to be postponed) is the nature of their relationship with James Harden. The superstar's unhappiness has been the biggest story since the end of the 2020 playoffs.
Even now, Harden continues to be involved in controversy. Earlier this week, severe backlash descended on him after he was caught at a strip club, breaking the NBA's COVID-19 protocols.
In response to the viral video, the star has issued a statement, explaining his activity and complaining about the media blowing this whole thing out of proportion.
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 positions of success, and now it’s a problem.
Every day 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.
The NBA has fined him for breaking their COVID safety guidelines, but there are much bigger issues for the Rockets.
No matter how much you believe Harden's side of the story, it was a poor show of judgment and leadership for him to attend that type of gathering with his team's season opener so soon.
Of course, it is also raising speculation that he might have done it on purpose -- either because he's in a complete rebellion and is trying to force Houston's hand or because he has just completely checked out and no longer really cares about the well-being of the Rockets.
While those conclusions are a bit harsh, it shows the reality of where things are right now. Harden's reputation is not good and it seems every attempt he tries to make to explain himself only digs the hole deeper for himself.