Steve Nash reacts to ongoing James Harden-Nets rumors
James Harden’s actions — or lack thereof — continue to fan the flames of the firestorm surrounding his purported desire to part ways with the Houston Rockets. Given the superstar’s alleged hope to land with the Brooklyn Nets, first-year head coach Steve Nash finds himself in a challenging predicament.
One significant aspect of the drama is how Nash has been unsurprisingly peppered with questions about the ongoing Harden-Nets buzz. The rookie head coach proved himself capable of handling the balancing act Monday by acknowledging that the Harden angle is indeed the proverbial “elephant” in the room.
“I guess we let the elephant be,” Nash said, via the New York Post. “I love our guys and hopefully they all feel really valued and wanted and respected. We have so many guys that bring so much to the table.
“When I’m in the gym with them every day I feel fortunate. So hopefully they feel that, and they don’t feel that we’re looking out the window at greener pastures, because we love what we have here and hopefully our behavior every day emits that and guys feel comfortable, valued and supported and striving for something individually and collectively.”
Nash of course wants to avoid alienating any players on the Nets roster who would have to be offered up in any potential trade with the Rockets, so his comments make sense. However, until the Harden speculation is silenced in one way, shape or form, Nash will have to carefully navigate the situation.
Harden, meanwhile, seemingly has no interest in putting an end to the drama, as the former MVP has yet to report to the Rockets for training camp. First-year Houston head coach Stephen Silas acknowledged Monday that Harden’s absence is indeed a “setback” and there’s “no timetable” for his arrival.
The Rockets, while confused by Harden’s absence, are believed to be committed to holding on the superstar, although the organization felt Harden’s attempt to force a trade to the Nets so he could join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving was “improper.”
Harden has reportedly told the Rockets he intends to show up at camp at some point, but it’s clear Nash and the Nets will continue to be challenged by the persistent rumors until all the dust settles, regardless of whether or not the team actually acquires the disgruntled star.