John Wall Claps Back After James Harden Insists the Rockets 'Just Aren’t Good Enough'

Illustration for article titled John Wall Claps Back After James Harden Insists the Rockets Just Aren’t Good Enough
Photo: Scott Halleran (Getty Images)

Rappers hate confrontation.

They’ll hit the booth and fire off subliminal jabs all day, but when pressed for an explanation, they typically swear their vitriol has been misconstrued—that is until they get fed up. Then shit gets messy...quick.

I’m not saying James Harden is a rapper—that’s more Dame Lillard’s area of expertise—but at this point, he sure as hell is acting like one.

In case you missed out on all the fun, on Tuesday night, the Lakers dismantled the Rockets with relative ease. Thanks in part to The Beard’s lackluster 16 points on 5-16 shooting. (For the record, you aren’t the only person who knows he’s quit on this team.)

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So with Harden’s trade demands continuing to fall on deaf ears, and frustration mounting as Houston drops to 3-6 this season, the eight-time All-Star finally had enough of the subliminals and instead opted to let the chopper spray during his post-game interview. And in his own words, the prevailing theme was that the Rockets “just aren’t good enough.”

“We’re not even close, honestly, to [the Lakers]—obviously the defending champions—and all the other elite teams out there,” he growled. “I mean, you can tell the difference in these last two games.

“Chemistry, talent-wise, everything. It’s clear. I love this city. I’ve literally done everything I can. It’s crazy. I don’t think it can be fixed.”

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Yikes.

At what point are the Rockets gonna just cut that alimony check and admit this marriage can’t be salvaged? The best player on your squad just shit on his teammates while openly advocating to play elsewhere—kinda like when he skipped training camp last month to go party with Lil’ Baby.

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How in the hell can you expect this man to be welcomed back in that locker room? Oh, that’s right...you can’t. And if the Rockets think that such a peace treaty is even remotely possible, teammate John Wall—who is clearly tired of Harden’s shit—took to the podium shortly afterward to help shove Harden out the door.

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“End of the day, a lot of guys here wanna compete at a high level,” Wall said. “When the 1-through-15 guys are all on the same page and they commit, they know their role, they know what they wanna do, they know what they wanna get out of this that’s to win, you all will be fine. But when you have certain guys in the mix that don’t wanna buy in all as one, it’s going to be hard to do anything good as a basketball team.”

Well, damn. But he wasn’t finished there.

Wall also clapped back at Harden’s assertion that the team isn’t “good enough” after only nine games.

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“Come on, man, you want to jump off the cliff after nine games?” Wall asked. “There’s a lot of basketball still to be played.”

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Most superstars would be elated with the influx of talent that Houston brought in this season. Christian Wood is looking like a franchise cornerstone, Boogie Cousins is providing a spark off the bench, and Wall has exceeded expectations after bouncing back from a nasty Achilles injury. But chemistry takes time, especially when you have an abbreviated offseason, and Harden’s lack of commitment to the cause has only made an impossible situation worse.

Sooooooooooooooooo what you gonna do, Houston?

Are you gonna allow your love affair with a spouse who wants nothing to do with you to destroy your franchise? Or are you gonna cut your losses, acquire some assets in exchange for Harden’s services, and move on with your life?

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Only time will tell, and the entire NBA world will be watching.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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DISCUSSION

At this point, i feel bad for James Harden.
The man went mask less to a crowded strip club days before the season opener on camera. He wanted to get caught, he probably thought it would’ve been a month’s suspension.
John Wall feels empowered to take over the leadership role fresh off a few healthy games...why do i feel like this sounds familiar?