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Harden Wanted McHale Fired, Dwight Traded?

FRIDAY, 7:41am: Harden never demanded a coaching change or that Howard be traded, Rockets CEO Tad Brown insisted Thursday to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

THURSDAY, 2:37pm: James Harden “angled” for the Rockets to trade Dwight Howard before the deadline and pressured the team to fire Kevin McHale earlier this season, multiple league sources tell Ken Berger of However, multiple sources told Calvin Watkins of that neither Harden nor Howard asked Rockets brass to change coaches, and Watkins portrays the idea of tension between Harden and Howard as overblown. Houston fired McHale after a 4-7 start but didn’t trade Howard, who’s poised to opt out and is widely expected to leave in free agency this summer, according to Berger.

“I don’t know what the perception is; the reality is we get along and we want to win,” Harden said to Watkins, speaking about Howard.

Harden has reportedly irked some of his teammates with his play and aloof nature at times, though he and Howard appeared upbeat following a players-only meeting that preceded McHale’s ouster. However, rumors have long followed the relationship between the Rockets stars. The respective camps for Harden and Howard went into the 2014 offseason “whispering” about their desire that the other be traded, according to Fran Blinebury of Howard has repeatedly denied a December 2015 report that he’s “extremely unhappy” playing a supporting role behind Harden, who takes nearly twice as many shots.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey said he never came close to trading Howard, but Morey and agent Dan Fegan were reportedly making a strong effort to find a new team for him in the hours leading up to last week’s deadline. Houston was in touch with the Mavericks, BullsHawks, Celtics,Hornets, HeatBucks and Raptors about Howard as it sought to engage in trade talks about the former All-Star center, according to multiple reports, but the market for him was apparently soft.

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14 thoughts on “Harden Wanted McHale Fired, Dwight Traded?

  1. bleumagicc

    Harden for President

  2. Baseball21

    James Harden will never win a championship

    • Chris Crouse

      I don’t know if I agree with this. I think It’s more likely he wins a championship than Dwight or Carmelo. Harden is still a top 10 player in the league.

      • I disagree. I think Melo would be willing to play second fiddle to a better star and Dwight, if he remains healthy and somewhat productive, could probably latch onto a championship contender. In my opinion, Harden isn’t enough of a two way player (since he doesn’t play defense) to be able to carry a team to a championship. He needs a good supporting cast around him and, while this is more of a personal opinion and I could easily be wrong, has to be a little less selfish, work on his defense and be willing to coexist with another star to succeed. Again another personal opinion here, but it seems like hes starting to build a reputation as a guy who other stars might not want to play with (theres no proof here, but it seems hes building a similar reputation to the reputation Kobe got). It definetly doesn’t help that his “co-star” also has a reputation for being a bit of a prima donna which could easily be making Harden look worse than he actually is.

        • Arthur Hill

          The Rockets are expected to target Kevin Durant, who is Harden’s close friend, in free agency. Do you think Harden would defer to him if they were teammates again, and do you think that pairing could work?

          • It could work, I don’t see any reason why it couldn’t. Although that pairing might not work defensively. We all know Harden is a terrible defender and Durant is an average defender (I read somewhere recently, think ESPN, that said Durant is an ok defender but often lacks the willingness to give 100% effort on every defensive play). Not many players, let alone stars, give 100% every play but the point is more that he’s not going to be locking down anyone. With those two as your wing players, your at a serious disadvantage defensively unless your point guard is a great defender and can guard one of the two wing spots and/or the other team is playing small ball allowing Durant to slide to the 4 and you bring in a better defender next to the two.

          • bowserhound

            It already did not work, why try again without Westbrook?

  3. Bobby Sweet

    In Harden’s defense… just kidding, he has no defense.

  4. victor

    i think harden ever got over being benched in the playoffs by mchale and i think it irked him especially against the clips that they won that game without him. me personally as a rockets fan i want harden,jb bickerstaff,lawson and t jones gone. i also think morey needs a little less power

    • Arthur Hill

      Harden carries so much of their offense as the primary scorer and ball-handler. If he were to be traded and Dwight stays, do you think they could rebuild a contending team?

  5. Note to Houston people from LA and Orlando: Dwight Lies.

  6. justinkm19

    Mavs dodged a bullet as Cuban said they might have when he signed with HOU

  7. Harden is right about needing to trade Howard, regardless of personal opinions they have of each other. The Rockets should have recouped something for Howard, since I doubt he’s going to resign (for the better since he wont be worth the money he will get). I get that they had a high asking price, which is fine to start off negotiations, but your better off taking something instead of losing him for nothing.

  8. em650r

    Harden needs to shut up

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