HOUSTON - James Harden, the NBA's Most Valuable Player in 2018, said Sunday he and his Rockets teammates will get together in the Bahamas the first week of September for about a week of bonding, basketball and fun.
The Rockets players went to the Bahamas last year prior to the start of the 2017-18 season, and went on to have the best regular season in franchise history and came within one win of going to the NBA Finals.
"It's extremely important," Harden said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. "I think last year it was great for us because we kind of built our chemistry up before training camp, and then obviously adding Chris (Paul) and adding PJ (Tucker), we got a year under our belt.
"Bringing other guys in, James (Ennis) and 'Melo (Carmelo Anthony), just got to get them acclimated before training camp starts, something we need."
Tucker thought the time the Rockets players spent in the Bahamas last year meant a great deal and he expects it will again for this coming season.
"It's everything, especially with adding new pieces, guys that are going to play a lot of minutes," Tucker said. "Just building that chemistry. Guys know each other. We're friends.
"It's a pivotal point, early on, so that we can get to know each other, on the court. It's something we want to do again for sure."
"It brings us together," Harden said. "Kind of gets us to know each other a little bit before camp starts. When camp starts we'll fall right into it. We'll talk about basketball. We'll talk about life. It should be a good time."
Gerald Green was not with the Rockets when they went to the Bahamas last year, but since joining his hometown team in December he has become a key player and is looking forward to the trip.
"It's very important," Green said. "That's where you build early chemistry. It's another way of bonding, another way for us to really lock into our main goal, and that's getting a championship this year.
"I think it's going to be a good time for us to bond, but hey, sometimes when you get a little bit of sun, water and the Bahamas and get to kick it and work out and get better, nothing better than that."
Green and Tucker played in James Harden's celebrity-charity basketball game Sunday on the Texas Southern campus, part of Harden's JH-Town Weekend in Houston.