Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas was thrilled to have 2018 NBA MVP James Harden back on the court as he insists the team has much more options when he is on the floor. Harden, an eight-time NBA All Star, made it clear to the Rockets front office he wanted out of Houston this free agency but the team hasn't yet traded him.
Harden missed the first practice of the training camp as he was spotted partying in Las Vegas and he had to later clear six coronavirus tests before being allowed to practice with his teammates. On Tuesday, Harden played in his first preseason game as he scored 12 points in a 112-98 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
"He was good," Rockets coach Silas said of Harden, as revealed on ESPN. "I mean, he's obviously a great player and can do so many things on the floor, on and off the ball. Defensively, he has great hands and makes plays and is smart.
So to have him out there was great."
John Wall not asking Harden about what he will do
Wall, who was traded from Washington to Houston this free agency, has made it clear that he would like to play alongside Harden but he won't be asking him about his intentions.
"At the end of the day, he's going to do what's best for him and the organization is going to do what's best for them also," Wall said. "The most important thing is when we step on that floor, we step into practice, we're focusing ourselves on basketball.
"I don't try to ask him about that because that's his personal business. All I worry about is what we can do to make this Rockets team the best that we can be while everybody is here and move forward with that."
Harden appeared to be a bit overweight and out of shape in his first game. "I don't know how close he is," Silas said, when asked how close Harden was to his typical form. "I haven't been around him enough to know the answer."
When asked about Harden's commitment to the team, coach Silas said a few days ago: "You can ask him about his commitment and all that sort of thing. But we had a good conversation. He was locked in. He was asking good questions. He was bringing up good points. We had a good discussion."