Skip to main content

James Harden Sends Message Before Game vs. Portland

Houston Rockets guard James Harden in the bubble.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 10: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 10, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

James Harden is reportedly interested in playing for the Portland Trailblazers (and it just so happens he'll play them Saturday evening).

It's no secret Harden wants out of Houston. Don't believe it? Just take a look at his recent behavior and pandemic-related violations.

As Harden continues to express his desire to be traded, one team is gaining more traction: Portland. The Trailblazers would love to add another star next to Damian Lillard, and they may have the assets capable of landing Harden in a trade.

Interestingly enough, Harden will take on the Trailblazers this evening. It'll be his first game of the season after missing the Rockets' season-opener (which was cancelled). But Harden is solely focused on his love of basketball, rather than trade rumors or his recent fine from the NBA.

"Year 12 for me. I'm excited," Harden said Saturday afternoon. "Never want to take playing basketball for granted."

Who knows? Maybe James Harden will stick it out in Houston. The Rockets, after all, appear capable of competing for a championship this season as long as Harden sticks around. Houston shipped Russell Westbrook to Washington in exchange for John Wall. The Rockets also added DeMarcus Cousins. If Cousins returns to his pre-injury form, a big three of Cousins, Harden and Wall would be deadly. The Rockets need to get off to a hot start if they hope to persuade Harden to stay in town. Houston begins its 2020 season Saturday evening at 10 p.m. ET on NBATV. [

Asked about the NBA decision to make him unavailable this week and what it took to be cleared to play, James Harden said, "Year 12 for me. I'm excited. Never want to take playing basketball for granted."

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 26, 2020

">Jonathan Feigen]