James Harden Behavior is Inexcusable

James Harden isn’t known as the most high-character, humble, active leader in the NBA today.

With his behavior this off-season, he’s not making his public image much better.

The current (probably not for much longer) Houston Rocket has opted to work out on his own at the University of Houston, attended rapper Lil Baby’s birthday party this previous weekend, spent a few nights in Las Vegas and didn’t wear a face covering at any of the social gatherings he attended.

After pleading with Houston’s front office to trade Russell Westbrook (of which they did and received an out of his prime guard coming off an achilles tear), Harden has thrown a fit to the likes few NBA markets have seen. Not only has he made it clear he doesn’t want to play for the Rockets this coming season, he’s mentioned teams he’d like to play for in the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets. 

But here’s the thing — Houston is obligated to send him anywhere. They’ve got options.

Between holding onto the former MVP and forcing the awkward situation to play out and shipping him to a noncontender, the Rockets can send a message to Harden and the rest of the league — player empowerment has gone too far, and they won’t bend to the will of grown man who is throwing a passive-aggressive tantrum. 

While LeBron James and Kevin Durant have made it clear they had their choices in where they wanted to go, leaving outraged fan bases and flabbergasted owners behind, this is too much. 

Not only is the eight-time All-Star putting himself and his teammates at risk of getting the Coronavirus, but he’s also put Stephen Silas in quite a difficult situation. Not only is Silas stepping into his first head coaching position ever, he’s doing it in the middle of a pandemic with a superstar who’s behaving like a child. 

It’s not fair to his new coach, teammates, the front office or the fans that have remained loyal no matter his playoff failings or ineffective defense. It shouldn’t be rewarded.

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