The NBA eight-time All-Star James Harden has yet to speak to the media on the reasons for his trade request while also briefly holding out of training camp despite suiting up for the Houston Rockets' preseason on Tuesday night.
The face of the Rockets franchise, Harden, was cleared to practice on Monday after violating the NBA's media access rules as he declined in making himself available to reporters after their 112-98 victory against the San Antonio Spurs at the Toyota Center.
'The Beard' played for 21 minutes, but he was only able to put up 12 points on 3-of-10 shooting, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists, which are unusual numbers for the Rockets star. He also committed 3 turnovers.
Stephen Silas, the first-year coach of the Rockets, said that Harden was good and a great player as he can do many things on and off the floor.
Silas added that defensively, Harden has great hands, and in the offensive end, he makes plays and makes decisions on the floor, which means having him on the floor is great.
According to ESPN, after reporting late to training camp, Harden missed the Rockets' first two preseason games due to the COVID-19 protocols when he socialized and did not wear any mask in Las Vegas and Atlanta.
The incident prompted the NBA league to require Harden to test negative for COVID-19 in a span of six days for him to get clearance and join his teammates in practices.
The Rockets' star has been avoiding answering media questions regarding his desire to be traded. Even his teammates shared that they do not bring up the topic with the long-time face of the Rockets franchise, USA Today's For The Win reported.
The new Rockets point guard John Wall shared that at the end of the day, Harden is going to do what is best for him, and the organization is going to do what is best for him as well.
Wall expressed his excitement about him pairing with Harden after arriving in Houston following a trade for Russell Westbrook two weeks ago.
He also added that the most important thing is that when they step on that floor for practice or games, they are just focused on themselves, on basketball, Sports Illustrated reported.
The newly acquired Rockets guard explained that he had not tried asking Harden about his request for a trade because that is his business.
His concern is about what they can do together in making the Rockets team, the Rockets organization, the best team, and franchise in the league, to the best of their capabilities.
The New Rockets coach also said that he was not able to have an extended conversation with Harden until Monday, so he is not sure how close Harden is to his normal form.
Silas said that he has not been around him long enough to know the answer.