Stephen A Smith believes that while James Harden deserves the benefit of doubt regarding his fine, the Rockets have a problem on their hands.
Harden was handed a $50,000 fine when videos showing him at a party without a mask began circulating on social media.
The video of James Harden at the strip club
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) December 23, 2020
The initial suspicion among fans was that this was yet another strip club misadventure. But he clarified that he was attending a friend’s private party.
Harden was already in hot water ahead of the season for partying and arriving late at training camp. He looked thoroughly out of shape and at least 15 pounds over an advisable weight range. It’s quite clear in any case that all he wants is to be out of Houston at this moment.
Stephen A Smith believes James Harden will be a problem till Rockets trade him
Harden uploaded a couple of pics to his Instagram story yesterday morning before deleting them. People did manage to take screenshots of his message for the public, which read something like this:
James Harden responds on Instagram to reports that he violated the league’s COVID protocols. pic.twitter.com/43malhnREx
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 23, 2020
Stephen A did back Harden to the hilt on the suspension issue with the following message:
“If that’s what James Harden says, we should believe him. The brother deserves the benefit of the doubt; he always shows up. None of that load management stuff. But let’s also be clear about this: he will be a distraction for the Rockets because he wants OUT!”
But he ended with a parting shot at the Rockets front office and made it clear that Harden is headed for the exit.
In the end, that reality is what makes anything he does right now a story. Houston……you have a problem. He wants out!
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) December 23, 2020