NBA 2020-21: Houston Rockets star guard James Harden is a recognized superstar in the NBA. Just like many of the league’s top players, he has reportedly earned some special treatment from his team over the years.
According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, sources close to the team said that Harden has often been given leave to take a day off when there are two or three days between games. In those situations, Harden used to license a private jet to Las Vegas and other cities to party.
Harden reportedly also gets an exempted holiday from the first practice after every All-Star break so he can party as well. A former Rockets staffer explained the situation to MacMahon as “whatever James wants.“
In some ways, the Rockets giving in to Harden’s desires over the years is understandable since he has been their best player in the NBA during his eight years with the franchise.
Harden is an eight-time All-Star, he has won the NBA scoring title each of the past three seasons with over 30 points per game each of those years, and he has won an NBA MVP award in Houston as well.
James Harden wants out of the Rockets
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last month that Harden turned down a contract extension offer from the Rockets that would have paid him $50 million per year.
Since then, Harden has shown that he would be open to a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers or other contenders as well, per Wojnarowski and MacMahon.
As things currently stand, the Rockets are set to begin the 2020-21 season next week with Harden still on the roster. He featured in the last match against the Kings.
NBA 2020-21 Schedule: The tentative NBA schedule calendar for the 2020-21 season:
• Dec. 11-19, 2020: Preseason games
• Dec. 22, 2020 – March 4, 2021: First Half of regular season
• March 5-10, 2021: All-Star break
• March 11 – May 16, 2021: Second Half of regular season
• May 18-21, 2021: Play-In Tournament
• May 22 – July 22, 2021: 2021 NBA Playoffs