By Stefan Djordjevic / email@example.com
Both of the Houston Rockets‘ stars in James Harden and Russell Westbrook were unhappy this offseason, requesting a trade. And while the team traded Westbrook for John Wall, Harden remains and it is to be seen how the whole situation will develop as the season gets closer.
An additional reason for concern has been that Harden hasn’t shown up yet for the team’s training camp. He missed the opening practice and has now missed another one. The newly appointed coach Stephen Silas wasn’t happy at all about it.
“He’s not here, and he has a reason, but that’s on him to tell whoever what the reason is,” he said and added. “There is no timetable, as far as I know. It is a setback. You want your best player to be here.”
While the reason for Harden’s initial absence was “due to COVID protocols”, there seems to be more to it than that. Coach Silas hasn’t talked to the star and Harden has only said that he will “report in soon”.
The Rockets‘ guard posted pictures over the weekend of him attending rapper Lil Baby’s birthday party in Atlanta, and videos and pictures of Harden hanging out in Las Vegas nightclubs have circulated as well during the past days.
Those actions are in direct violation of the NBA’s COVID protocols that required players to quarantine at home other than testing at team facilities, individual workouts, and essential activities.