James Harden spoke to the media for the first time on Wednesday after demanding a trade from the Houston Rockets over the offseason.
“Right now, I’m just focused on being here,” Harden said.
“Today was good. Yesterday felt really good being out there for the first time since the bubble. I haven’t really had the opportunity to do a lot of 5-on-5 work, but for my first time being out there, it felt pretty good.”
Harden made headlines last week for skipping team practice in favor of hanging out with rapper Lil Baby on his birthday.
When pressed on why he had done that, Harden didn’t offer much in the way of details.
“I was just training,” he said.
Harden did not go to Houston until Dec. 8, which was two days after the team resumed practices. He subsequently missed the Rockets’ first two preseason games.
“I can only focus on right now, and for me, the best James Harden is making sure I’m in shape,” Harden said.
“Like I said, I hadn’t even had an opportunity to play 5-on-5. Individual workouts, when you do individual basketball training, is great, but as every NBA player can agree, there’s nothing like 5-on-5 training, the physicality, making reads and things like that. Yesterday for my first time being out there, I felt good, and that’s exciting.”
How will this messy saga ultimately end? Time will tell.