Count former Houston Rockets star Robert Reid among things not going James Harden(James Harden Jersey)’s way these days.
Harden admitted after the team’s playoff loss to the Golden State Warriors that the Rockets “had too many distractions, a bumpy road” from the very start this season.
Reid, who played 10 seasons for the Rockets and averaged 11.4 points over a 14-year NBA career, on Monday told KHOU 11 Sports that those issues start with Harden.
“Harden is a tremendous player, but he’s not bringing it for the team,” Reid said. “I’m sorry, I’m just going to say it. Harden looks after Harden.”
Reid told the station that it will be up to whoever coaches the Rockets next season — be it J.B. Bickerstaff, who was the interim coach this season after Kevin McHale was fired, or somebody new — to send a message to Harden about his demeanor.
“The new coach that they bring in here is the one that’s going to have to say, ‘I’m the one who gets fired if we don’t win, not you. Do you feel lucky? Because your happy-jack behind will be at the end of the bench until you come to this game that we want to play.’
Reid told the station that the team’s dysfunction this season, particularly on offense, started with Harden, whose chemistry with Dwight Howard disintegrated over the course of the season.
“Monday through Wednesday, the team goes through their offensive plays. First option, second option … when we had the Twin Towers, here’s what we’re going to do,” Reid told the station. “But come game night, [they] have one guy holding the ball and the others are like ‘Where are we going to have dinner at tonight?’”
After being eliminated from the playoffs, Howard was truthful about the team’s chemistry.
“It didn’t go the way we wanted to go,” said Howard, who will become a free agent this summer. “We had a lot of ups and downs and I’m sure all of us are going to take some time to reflect on what we can do to better ourselves.”