The Houston Rockets have their own drama heading into the offseason and it relates to a reported friction between James Harden and point guard Chris Paul.
According to ESPN’s Tim McMahon, “there is friction between James Harden and Chris Paul, the franchise’s two maximum-salary centerpieces.”
Additionally, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey “has aggressively shopped the Rockets under contract, including Paul and center Clint Capela, in the trade market.”
But the friction isn’t exclusive to only Harden and Paul, who are “differences in preferred playing styles and personality.”
According to the report; “There’s too much damn turmoil. There’s some hard feelings right now everywhere.”
“Chris wants to coach James,” a source said, per the report. “James looks at him like, ‘You can’t even beat your man. Just shut up and watch me.'”
The report goes on the further illustrate the discontent between Harden and Paul, stating that Paul “cherishes” playing on the floor without Harden and “barked” at head coach Mike D’Antoni to keep Harden on the bench while he was running with the second unit.
“Chris has a personality where he just doesn’t let anything go,” the source told MacMahon. “He just keeps pestering and pestering and pestering and pestering. Sometimes James has had enough—and not just him. That’s what makes [Paul] a winner and also what keeps him from being a big-time winner. He’s got to temper that.”
It will be hard for Houston to move Paul, as his huge contract, declining play, and advancing age will prove to be some monumental roadblocks, and moving Harden, one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA today, doesn’t seem to be a smart route either.
It seems as though Harden, Paul, and whoever else is on the roster when the new season rolls around will have to find a way to make things work, despite their personal feelings towards one another.