- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 13, 2021

James Harden is seemingly doing everything he can to force a trade.

That includes trashing his current team in post-game interviews.

After a 117-100 loss Tuesday to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Houston Rockets star said the Rockets are “just not good enough” and indicated he doesn’t see the team being able to improve.

“I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can,” Harden told reporters. “I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”

Harden ended his press conference following that statement, not allowing follow-up questions.

The former MVP requested a trade last month after he became upset with the direction of the franchise. Houston lost general manager Daryl Morey and coach Mike D’Antoni and with limited cap flexibility, the team doesn’t appear anywhere close to becoming a contender.  In December, the team traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for guard John Wall.

Disgruntled, Harden showed up late to training camp. During his time away from the team, Harden was seen partying at different strip clubs around the country — a violation of the NBA’s coronavirus protocols that drew a fine. 

The Rockets are just 3-6 this season and have lost four of their last five. 

So far, Houston has resisted trading Harden in hopes of a better offer. The Rockets are reportedly seeking a package of draft picks and young foundational players to help rebuild the franchise.

Traded to Houston in 2012, Harden is in his ninth season with the Rockets. The ball-dominant guard bloomed into an eight-time All-Star and won MVP in 2017-18. Harden, 31, has led the league in scoring for each of the last three seasons.  

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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