James Harden is not happy right now. On Tuesday night, the former NBA MVP and the Houston Rockets lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 117-100 and are 3-6 to start the year. When talking to reporters after the loss, Harden said the Rockets are not in a position where they can improve and make a run at the title.
"We're just not good enough — chemistry, talent-wise, just everything. And it was clear these last two games," Haden said, as reported by ESPN. "We're not even close, honestly, to that team - obviously the defending champions - and all the other elite teams out there. I mean, you can tell the difference in these last two games." Harden went on to say he loves Houston, but the Rockets are beyond a point where things can be fixed with trades and free-agent signings.
"I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can," Harden stated. "I mean, this situation is crazy. It's something that I don't think can be fixed." So far this year, Harden is averaging 24.8 points and 10.4 assists per game. However, in the last four games, the eight-time NBA All-Star has only scored 20 points or fewer. In the Rockets' first three contests, Harden scored 44, 34, and 33 points.
There have been reports of Harden wanting out of Houston, which started during the offseason. Since then, things have not gotten easier for Harden as he was recently fined $50,000 for not wearing a mask while attending a party. Fans have also been critical of him for his reported weight gain.
"There's a lot of guys here that want to compete at a high level," Harden said. "Like I told everybody tonight and told the guys before when one through 15 guys are all on the same page and they commit and they know their role and they know what they want to get out of this and that's to win, it'll all be fine. But when you have certain guys in the mix that don't want to buy in all as one, it's going to be hard to do anything special or anything good as a basketball team."
Harden, 31, joined the Rockets in 2012 after spending his first three years with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Along with winning being an eight-time All-Star and winning the MVP award in 2018, Harden was named Sixth Man of the Year in 2012 and is a three-time scoring champion.