James Harden, the Houston Rockets superstar, was instrumental in the firing of former head coach Kevin McHale and wanted Dwight Howard traded, according to latest NBA Rumors and reports.
According to CBS Sports’ Ken Berger, Harden “pushed” the team management to fire McHale and pressured them to trade Howard before the February 18 deadline. “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,” wrote Berger.
“It’s really bad for the locker room dynamic,” a person familiar with the situation said. “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?” added the report.
James Harden admits it?
It’s no secret that Harden enjoys this kind of power, especially after he guided Rockets to the Western Conference Finals last season. Harden has even admitted to influencing off-the-court decisions. “Obviously, the owners and general managers have the final decision, but the star player should have some kind of input. I think that should be the case,” said the shooting guard.
Needless to say Harden’s alleged hand behind McHale’s firing hasn’t helped the team. When McHale was fired, the Houston Rockets were 4-7. Since J.B. Bickerstaff took charge, the team is 24-22 and sits outside a playoff spot. Houston will need to win at least 80% of their final 25 games to challenge the Utah Jazz and Portland Trailblazers for one of the final two playoff seeds.
The NBA has always been a star-driven league. In the 1990s, Grant Hill got Doug Collins fired in Detroit. In the early 2000s, Jason Kidd got Byron Scott fired in New Jersey. Ditto with Gary Payton and Paul Westphal in Seattle. Most recently, LeBron James definitely had a say in David Blatt’s firing.
However, has James Harden earned the right to wield so much power? Stay tuned for latest NBA Rumors.