Houston Rockets star guard James Harden refused to directly answer questions about his desire to be traded as he simply said that he's focused on "being here." Harden, the 2018 NBA MVP, requested a trade from the Rockets because he felt his window for winning an NBA Championship in Houston was closed.
Harden listed the Brooklyn Nets as his preferred destination, before later adding the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat to the list. "Right now, I'm just focused on being here," Harden said, as quoted on ESPN.
"Today was good. Yesterday felt really good being out there for the first time since the bubble. I haven't really had the opportunity to do a lot of 5-on-5 work, but for my first time being out there, it felt pretty good."
Harden felt good against the San Antonio Spurs
Harden, who missed the Rockets' first two preseason games, played 21 minutes against the Spurs on Tuesday. "I can only focus on right now, and for me, the best James Harden is making sure I'm in shape," Harden said.
"Like I said, I hadn't even had an opportunity to play 5-on-5. Individual workouts, when you do individual basketball training, is great, but as every NBA player can agree, there's nothing like 5-on-5 training, the physicality, making reads and things like that.
Yesterday for my first time being out there, I felt good, and that's exciting." Meanwhile, four-time NBA All Star center DeMarcus Cousins has acknowledged that he won't be asking Harden any questions about his desire to be traded as he respects the guard's privacy.
"At the end of the day, this is a business," Cousins said. "You can only respect a guy for doing whatever he feel is best for him, his personal life and his career. So, no, honestly, I haven't [tried to convince Harden to commit to the Rockets], and I don't really feel like that's my place.
That's a decision he has to make for himself. "My job is to, while we're on the floor and while we're in practice, to be holding everybody accountable. We're going to come in and work every day and try to get better every day.
I control what I can control. For the guys that's on the floor, we're going to go to war." John Wall, who arrived with Cousins to the Rockets this free agency, also said he would leave Harden decide in peace his next move.