James Harden pushes back against reports he’s unhappy in Brooklyn: ‘I’m frustrated because we’re not healthy’

After Nets’ loss to Lakers, James Harden denies reports that he’s unhappy playing in Brooklyn. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

James Harden doesn’t want to hear about reports.

Harden flat-out denied reports that he’s unhappy in Brooklyn, and admitted he’s frustrated with his team’s inability to string together a winning streak. That frustration, he said, is rooted in factors outside his control that are affecting his teammates.

“Of course I’m frustrated because we’re not healthy, there’s a lot of inconsistencies for whatever reason: injuries, COVID, whatever you want to call it,” he said. “But yeah, it’s frustrating. I think everyone in this organization is frustrated because we are better than what our record is and we should be on the way up. That’s all it is. I don’t know anything about any reports. If you didn’t hear it from me, I don’t talk to nobody. I have an agent. If you don’t hear it from me, then it’s reports, So I’m frustrated because I wanna win and I’m a competitor. It’s pretty simple.”

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer wrote a report on Tuesday that suggested Harden was disgruntled with both living in New York City and his head coach Steve Nash’s rotation decisions in late game scenarios. When asked if he enjoys living in New York, Harden responded: “Yes,” with a confused look on his face.

Things superstars say publicly, however, must be taken with a grain of salt. Kevin Durant, for example, said he had nothing to do with Harden’s trade to the Nets and said reports to the contrary were “made-up.” Durant was also complimentary of ex-Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, listing Atkinson’s coaching style as a reason he signed in Brooklyn, only for Atkinson to be canned midway through the COVID-19 shortened season. Kyrie Irving infamously told Celtics fans he wanted to re-sign in Boston long-term before changing course and signing in Brooklyn.

Harden didn’t necessarily fabricate his exit from Houston: He just forced his way out.

Here’s the cold truth: Harden’s future status in Brooklyn has been an uncertainty ever since he declined to sign a contract extension despite Kevin Durant agreeing to a deal that keeps him a Net until midway through 2026.

And as much as Harden doesn’t want to hear about reports, they’re not going to stop until he makes a decision–be that to stay in Brooklyn, go to Philadelphia or possibly even return where he planted his roots in Houston.