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The rumors surrounding James Harden wanting out of Houston were solidified Tuesday night after the Rockets star expressed little faith in his team following back-to-back losses against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Offseason reports indicated that Harden was asking for a trade. After showing up late to training camp, Harden’s season began and talk of being traded seemed to die down.
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But it all surfaced this week after the Rockets suffered two blowout losses against the Lakers.
“We’re not even close, honestly, to, obviously, the defending champions and all the other elite teams out there,” Harden said during his postgame presser. “I mean, you can tell the difference in these last two games.”
“We’re just not good enough. Chemistry, talent-wise, just everything,” he continued. “I love this city. I’ve literally done everything that I can. The situation, it’s crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed. Thanks.”
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Harden has reportedly expressed interest in being traded to the Brooklyn Nets or the Philadelphia 76ers — both teams he believes he can win a title with — but the Rockets’ asking price for him has been too high.
Houston traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall and a future first-round draft pick before the season in what was seen as an attempt to pacify Harden to no avail.
“It’s a little rocky,” Wall said of his partnership with Harden after the game. “I don’t think it’s the best it could be, that’s all I could say.”
The comments made in frustration could land Harden a fine, as the league has a longstanding rule about players not being able to publicly express a desire to be traded and has issued $50,000 fines in recent years to players like Anthony Davis and Dewayne Dedmon for breaking that policy.
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Harden was fined $50,000 earlier this season for violating the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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