Three-time reigning NBA scoring champion James Harden reported to the Houston Rockets training camp Tuesday with coach Stephen Silas confident he can build a successful relationship with the superstar guard.
Harden was tested for Covid-19 as part of the NBA’s safety protocol and could practice with the Rockets ahead of their pre-season opener on Friday at Chicago.
“That’s pretty much all I know,” Silas said. “Him getting tested in Houston is good for everybody.”
The Rockets began workouts on Sunday and Silas said Monday there was no timetable for disgruntled Harden to arrive, calling his absence a “setback”, but Silas was hopeful of building a relationship with the 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player.
“Trust is built day to day and once the relationship begins, we’ll begin that process of trust,” Silas said.
“Obviously, there wasn’t a great start to it, but that’s the NBA. The NBA is not going to be roses every day.”
Silas was named coach of th Rockets six weeks ago as part of major changes in the organization, including the trade of 2017 NBA MVP guard Russell Westbrook to Washington for John Wall.
The team has a new general manager in Rafael Stone, who replaced Daryl Morey, the new Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations, and has nine new faces from last season surrounding Harden.
Harden’s arrival came as ESPN reported he has made it known he would welcome a trade to Philadelphia. He had sought to be sent to Brooklyn but the Rockets found no interest from the Nets in such a deal.
Silas said Harden should be able to quickly absorb what the Rockets have done over the first three days of practice.
“Elite players have a way of learning fast, fitting in and making everyone better,” Silas said. “There will be some sort of learning curve.”