Jace Evans, USA TODAY
Published 11:50 p.m. ET Jan. 12, 2021 | Updated 12:23 a.m. ET Jan. 13, 2021
SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt examines the latest example of the NBA being a league that encourages its players and coaches to speak up and use their platform, this time in the aftermath of the riots at the Capitol building.
The relationship between James Harden and the Houston Rockets seems unsalvageable.
The former NBA MVP concluded his press conference Tuesday night following the Rockets’ 117-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers with a searing indictment of the team.
“We’re just not good enough,” Harden said. “Chemistry, talent-wise, just everything, and it was clear these last few games.”
The Rockets are 3-6 on the season, second-to-last in the Western Conference and coming off two straight losses to the defending champion Lakers.
Harden’s desires for a trade out of Houston were made clear in the lead-up to the season, and he seemed to imply Tuesday night with his closing remarks that he still desires to be traded.
“I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can,” Harden said.
“This situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”
Harden, 31, is in one of the biggest scoring funks of his career. He’s been held to 20 points or less for four straight games, a streak he hasn’t experienced since 2011-12, his final year with the Oklahoma City Thunder before he was traded to the Rockets.
Harden’s new backcourt running mate, John Wall, weighed in on the dysfunction surrounding Harden and the team – both directly and indirectly.
“I think it’s been a little rocky. Can’t lie about that,” Wall said regarding how things have been going with him and Harden as a duo.