We haven't heard much from Houston Rockets superstar guard James Harden since the NBA season was suspended indefinitely due to the outbreak of the coronavirus back on March 11. At that time, the Rockets were preparing for their playoff push, as they sat in sixth place in the Western Conference with a 40-24 record.
Harden has kept a low profile since then, but like the rest of the greater basketball community, Harden has been watching "The Last Dance," ESPN's 10-part documentary that chronicles Michael Jordan's final season with the Chicago Bulls in 1997-98. Harden isn't just passively watching the documentary though. As a student of the game, he's studying it and trying to pick up some tricks of the trade in the process.
"I just can't watch it to watch it," Harden said, via CNBC. "I want to see the ins and out and everything because at the end of the day, I am a competitor and I want to see what those dudes were going through."
Harden has been especially intrigued by the behind-the-scenes aspect of "The Last Dance." As a player he is well aware that a whole lot goes down behind the scenes that fans aren't privy to.
"Players and coaches go through a lot to that probably won't be shown in the public eye," Harden said. "But we have to deal with it."
When it comes to returning to action and resuming the '19-20 campaign, Harden is ready and eager -- as long as it's safe.
"I want it to be safe," Harden said of returning. "I want it to be entertaining for the fans and players to get out there and compete. As soon as we can get this ramped up, I'm ready to go. I feel like the majority of the players feel the same way."
At this point, the season resuming seems like a real possibility. Many NBA teams have already re-opened practice facilities for individual workouts, and they are expecting guidelines from the league that will allow them to begin bringing players back to their home markets and expanding workouts by the beginning of June. A potential timeline of events would see full practices resuming in mid-June and the season itself resuming in mind-July and extending throughout the summer. Many of the logistical details are still being ironed out, but there certainly seems to be some genuine momentum building towards a return.