Houston Rockets star guard James Harden didn't participate in the team's first practice of training camp and that further escalated the rumors of him not wanting to play for Houston anymore. Earlier this season, it was reported that Harden made it clear to the Rockets that he would like to join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.
The Rockets have made some notable moves since -- such as trading for John Wall and signing DeMarcus Cousins -- hoping that convinces Harden to stay in Houston. Over the weekend, Harden posted pictures of him attending rapper Lil Baby's birthday not wearing a mask.
Harden was not allowed to practice with the team due to the COVID-19 protocols but he knew what would happen if he didn't wear a mask at a social event. "I'm not exactly sure what hoops he has to jump through in order to practice with the team," Rockets coach Stephen Silas said, per ESPN.
"I would just say I want him here, and I want him to be a big part of what we're doing. I'm excited to coach him and have him be a part of what we just had out there with a good practice, with a bunch of guys who are working hard on both ends of the floor and had a good vibe about them."
Wall wants to play alongside Harden
Wall has had talks with Harden since his arrival from Washington and he is optimistic that the 2018 NBA MVP will return to Houston for this season. "We're going to figure out what's the best decision [regarding] when he wants to get here and be here," Wall said.
"We've been on the same page since I've been traded here." Earlier this week, Rockets coach Silas revealed he was giving Harden time to think about his future but expressed his hope that the star guard would join the team for the start of training camp.
"That's a question you're going to have to ask him when he gets here," Silas said, when asked about Harden's commitment to Harden. "We're looking forward to having him here and getting to his individual workout.
That's the word I heard from the pipeline. Once he gets here, obviously the best communication for me would be face-to-face communication -- not text, not phone, not anything else. "I'm looking forward to him getting here, getting in the building, and then we can talk about what's best. But you know, that's kind of a work in progress right now."