James Harden is in the news again for all the wrong reasons. The Houston Rockets star, clearly unhappy with his current situation, has not been the best employee recently; he refuses to answer questions in media appearances about his trade demand and reportedly threw a basketball at a rookie during practice in frustration.
Now a video of Harden maskless in a strip club is making the rounds. The NBA is investigating to see if the video is recent. If it is, Harden violated the league's COVID protocols and could miss tonight's season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With the ever-important caveat that this video is, in fact, from some time in the last week, it comes across as Harden throwing caution to the wind and doing whatever he wants because he doesn't want to be in Houston anymore. If those actions come at the cost of his public image and hurts the team's chances to win, then so be it.
If that is the case, then I might humbly suggest that Harden pursue a different strategy to try and force Houston's hand. Because this isn't going to get it done. Not only is it selfish and irresponsible since he presumably planned to just head to practice the next day regardless of whether he got caught, such decision-making is not really going to inspire other teams across the league to bring him into the building.
He should instead follow the path of time-honored ways to force a trade, like coming down with a mysterious injury or throwing soup on a coach or any number of methods fellow superstars have employed. Breaking COVID rules in a pandemic only makes Harden look bad and therefore more difficult to be traded.
UPDATE: Here is Harden's response to this debacle.