James Harden Skips First Practice For Rapper Lil Baby’s Birthday Bash

Videos by OutKick

According to a report from the New York Times, James Harden skipped the Houston Rockets’ first team practice today. Why? Because he decided he would rather attend rapper Lil Baby’s birthday bash. James Harden is proving that he cares more about being famous than he does about winning an NBA title.

These type of reports are usually filled with speculation, but here’s Harden out clubbing last night:

So it’s not the end of the world that James Harden missed practice this morning. As Allen Iverson would say: “it’s practice man.” It’s why he missed practice and the circumstances of the season that make this situation reek of poor leadership. For context, 21-year-old Mavericks star Luka Doncic is talking about how important staying healthy from COVID will be while James Harden is out at a strip club.

The MVP doesn’t need to live in a bubble and stop living his life. He needs to at least appear as if he cares. Hanging out at the club while his teammates get up early for practice isn’t sending the right message. Harden is reportedly expected at a workout later today, but how impactful will that now be? Probably not very.

The takeaway here is that James Harden is just there. He isn’t making an impact on his teammates to be better, to match his will to win, or to get there earlier. Could easily argue that this failure in judgement is why his teammates continue to let him down in the playoffs. His teammates are matching his failing desire to win.

Stephen Silas

Coach Silas has no chance here. He was clearly disappointed that Harden didn’t show this morning, even though he refuses to be straight forward about his displeasure.

“That’s a question you’re going to have to ask him.”

Just an elegant way to say James Harden didn’t communicate with the Houston Rockets or myself personally. Harden looks to be more in love with his celebrity status than his role as the leader in Houston. The MVP has never been known for his accountability, but this brutal. Figure it out, James.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr


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  1. I put it on the coaches. If you let stars do what they want, they will do what they want. If you coach as John Wooden did, this stuff would never happen, because the star would be kicked off the team, and the rest of the stars would realize that they are not the boss.

  2. I personally could care less if Harden is at practice or not…..he’ll never be a part win a title, so his actions are not inconsequential to the season. The only thing that bothers me is the Coach lying about the reason. Stop coddling and justifying athletes actions. Harden’s a big boy, let him explain to the media why he doesn’t take the season seriously. The first line of this column said it best…..Harden cares more about being famous than winning a title…..end of story

  3. Harden is a loser who doesn’t give a damn about leading a team to a championship. Partying and fame are more important to him. There have been reports for years about him running escorts into his hotel room when he should have been preparing for a game. He’s a coach-killer, young Silas, so beware. This is the sort of stuff that has so many sports fans laughing at the NBA while they sit on their wallets or flip channels.

  4. A correction to part of this article. The following statement “James Harden is proving that he cares more about being famous than he does about winning an NBA title.” should read “James Harden HAS PROVEN AGAIN that he cares more about being famous than he does about winning an NBA title.”
    This is not new to anyone living in Houston. Any objective observer could see this years ago. Aside from his boring brand of 3 point shooting, non ball movement, iso ball, it is his attitude toward winning that makes him, and the Rockets, so unlikable for almost a decade now.

  5. Harden is a richman and wants to do what he wants when wants. No problem with that. He will never be the reason a team wins a title because he is not basketball player, He is a scorer first—second—third. not a passer or defender just like Carmelo Anthony.

  6. The league has given the players too much power. This guy is worth hundreds of millions. NBA is no longer important to him anymore.

    I question his sexuality with Lil Baby. They are always spotted together here in Houston. James bought him a $200,000 watch plus $100,000 cash money and a Prada bag filled with honey buns.

    I don’t care how much money a person has, there is a unwritten rule that a man doesn’t give that much to another man unless he is your father, grandfather,etc.

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