The first day of NBA training camp was Sunday and teams were all ready to start. Each team had their social media on full blast for the beginning of training camp and showing off the new stars from their free agency picks. The Los Angeles Lakers were ready for a repeat, the Washington Wizards are showing off Russell Westbrook in his new number four jersey and Gordon Hayward is getting adjusted to training with the Charlotte Hornets. The Houston Rockets featured a video of John Wall already getting after it in the gym. A lot of stars were happy to be back in the facility. While most players were eager to start, one player was missing in action.
Harden Misses Training Camp
James Harden was not at the first day of training camp. CBS Sports reports that Harden had to miss the Houston Rocket’s first day and was going to do an individual workout instead. The reason given for his absence was violating the quarantine that the NBA required players to participate in before training camp. Harden posted pictures of himself at a popular rapper’s birthday party this weekend, therefore breaking the quarantine. The absence of Harden was definitely felt by the team but Harden needs to wait until he tests negative for Covid-19 before joining them. Harden was tested Tuesday morning and the team is hoping for his results soon.
Rockets in Free Agency
The Rockets are looking to make a playoff push this year. They just acquired John Wall through a trade for Russell Westbrook. Also, the Rockets signed DeMarcus Cousins who is a veteran in the league. Cousins is recovering from an injury but is feeling healthy and ready to play. PJ Tucker is a Rockets guard who performed well in the Bubble and should be a nice compliment to Harden. The Rockets have a pretty young team but have veterans that can step in and lead. There is no reason why the Rockets should not be able to make a playoff push this season.
Does Harden Want Out?
During the offseason, Harden had asked the Rockets for a trade to numerous destinations. And it seems as though Harden wants out of Houston. The Rockets have stated that they are in no rush to get rid of Harden. It seems as though the Rockets brought Wall to the team to balance out Harden. Rumors were circulating about the toxic culture of the Rockets and how there may have been a problem between Harden and Westbrook. The trade for Wall may have been the Rockets idea to eliminate rumors. Harden wants a championship and he seems skeptical about the Rockets’ capability to achieve a championship run.
Unfortunately, the NBA season does not officially start for another two weeks. This means that all of this talk about the potential of teams will not be proved until then. Until then, we will just have to wait and see if Harden joins his team in training camp.
All information taken from cbssports.com and espn.com.