James Harden, in case you forgot, is still unhappy. We know because in his post-game after the Rockets lost to the Lakers Tuesday he reminded everyone again. Harden’s <em>specific</em> brand of unhappiness is like falling on your sword until you get the best angle and biggest audience and with a blockbuster trade to the Nets taking place less than 24 hours later, it appears he finally nailed it, though the man is now rife with self-inflicted sword wounds.
Around the same time on NBA Twitter, albeit from a different time zone on the other side of the world, Steven Adams was on a show I’m ashamed to say I’ve just learned existed called “Kiwis Abroad.” He talked about worms. Specifically, farming them. Specifically, obtaining compost worms to start a compost worm farm, that he watches closely under a microscope.
We don’t deserve Steven Adams pic.twitter.com/x9UNMhJ6U7
— Simon Hampton (@SimonHampton9) January 13, 2021
In a segment of the show that did not become as newsworthy a subject as where James Harden — the man who is as much his own immense boulder as he is Sisyphus — will go or what he hopes to do there, Adams was asked, sincerely, by host Simon Hampton how he’d been keeping busy between “games and training” considering the necessary movement restrictions players and teams have to follow in accordance with the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Basically, how he’s finding it living in a world turned never-endingly linear. Adams mulls the question, his brain likely expanding into to the similar state of static all of us experience when trying to recall the differentiation of one day to the next. But then he lands on something, some beautiful memory, and brightens like the sun rising on the proud island nation of New Zealand.
“Ah,” he gives a confident nod, “I got a worm farm now!”
“At my house,” he quickly adds for context. “Bought some worms the other day, some compost worms. I also got a microscope so I can check out all the little bugs in the soil and whatnot. Just real nerdy stuff.”
Before Hampton is able to ask about the worms directly, Adams furrows his brow and says firmly, “I’m going a bit mad.”
Then quieter, plaintive, “Help me.”
Recovering, Hampton asks in a casually charming Kiwi turn of phrase if the “worms are going well” and Adams confirms they are, for the most part, but that it might be a little cold for them at the moment.
Let’s turn from the worms and begrudgingly return to Harden, a man who could desperately use some time alone with a microscope if only he could slide his whole self under it. Adams went abruptly to New Orleans in a trade this year after six seasons, his entire NBA career, spent with the Thunder. Did he see it coming? Not likely. Did he have his doubts? Definitely. Is he enjoying the state of the world? Not really. But the man made due. He bought himself a worm farm. There are worthwhile lessons to be found digging in the dirt of oneself as much as ones compost worm farm, and Harden might be helped by that kind of molecular breaking down.
You can watch the full interview here.