With the Houston Rockets reportedly having catered to all of James Harden’s past demands and requests, many believe the franchise deserves blame for Harden’s current behavior.
The Houston Rockets have had one of the most eventful offseasons in franchise history, as they dealt with departures of their general manager and former coach in Daryl Morey and Mike D’Antoni. As if this wasn’t bad enough, they were forced to deal Russell Westbrook, who reportedly didn’t like the culture and/or lack of accountability under the former, who both allowed James Harden to have his way time and time again.
We’ve heard stories about how Harden was allowed to take private jets to attend parties in Las Vegas during off days, as opposed to remaining with the team and putting in more work with his teammates. Harden has also been heavily involved with personnel decisions, including the hiring and dismissals of former coaches, namely Kevin McHale, and has been able to have his desired co-stars in the past, including Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, in addition to John Wall.
With Harden having all of his wishes granted by a regime that is no longer with the franchise, what’s followed has been his own request to leave, which hasn’t been granted, due to a changing of the guard in the Houston Rockets front office. Harden held out of the opening days of training camp and has reportedly been firm on his request to leave the franchise, in spite of him playing with the team through the final two preseason games.
Many believe the Rockets are to blame for Harden’s behavior, including Sirius XM’s Justin Termine, who elaborated on the situation on NBA Today.
Do the Houston Rockets deserve blame for James Harden’s behavior?
“This is what happens when you spend the last 10 years and they’re telling you that you can’t do anything wrong. That’s all they’ve done down in Houston.
It’s everybody else’s fault, literally. James Harden allows a guy to blow by him on defense and it’s ‘no, he’s the greatest defender in the history of the sport.’
They lose in the postseason and it’s the officials’ fault. You lose the MVP and it’s the media’s fault, or it’s Chris Paul’s fault or it’s Dwight Howard’s fault or it’s Russell Westbrook’s fault.
So you create a monster. I remember when Tiger Woods was going through his issues, I was listening to experts talk on it and Tiger would overreact if somebody would tell him no, because you’ve just never heard it.
There’s so many yes men around you, it’s like a chemical imbalance. And someone tells you no all of a sudden and you flip out. You don’t know how to handle it.”
The Rockets aren’t exactly the only team to cater to their superstar, as it’s become commonplace in today’s league, mainly due to the lack of bonafide superstars. We recently heard that the LA Clippers employed a similar approach with Kawhi Leonard last season, and there’s likely a longer list of NBA teams that do the same thing.
The Rockets certainly should be held accountable for the situation, but so does Harden, as an argument can be made that he’s taken the powers and freedoms too far. With new Rockets general manager Rafael Stone implementing a culture change with the franchise, it certainly seems like the Rockets won’t be giving in to any current or future superstars’ demands.
Unfortunately in the case of Harden, it may already be too late.