Everybody who has been watching the Rockets this season knows it hasn’t even been close to the success that they had last year as they were a series away from the NBA Finals.
This season, it has been turmoil from the beginning, and now reports have come out that James Harden was the devil mind behind the firing of Kevin McHale, and the attempts at trading so-called “team cancer” Dwight Howard.
Multiple league sources told CBS Sports that Harden pushed management to dump McHale, and has since angled for the Rockets to trade Howard. Rockets GM Daryl Morey delivered on the first demand, but was unable to find a suitable deal for Howard at the trade deadline this month. “It’s really bad for the locker room dynamic,” a person familiar with the situation told CBS Sports. “If everybody knows that James Harden can fire you or trade you, are you going to pass the ball to Dwight or are you going to pass the ball to James Harden.
This is not the best news for the Rockets. In the beginning of the season it was evident that Harden’s teammates had been frustrated with his play. Since then, Harden’s play has improved dramatically, and he is back to normalcy.
But coach McHale isn’t around anymore. He took blame for the Houston Rockets struggles in the beginning of the season, and it cost him his job.
It seems like Harden has a good amount of leverage and that’s OK, to a certain extent. It can’t be a “Harden’s Way or the Highway” situation because that will end badly, very quickly for the organization. They need to have balance and if they want to please one of the leagues top players, then they are going to need his opinion.
My advice for the Rockets would be to listen to Harden. He knows what it takes to win and trying to appease him can lead to overall success for the organization.
It is an easier said than done situation, but usually, when your star player is happy, good things will come from it. We saw what happens when Harden is not at his best state mentally and it basically has cost the Rockets their season thus far.