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Ex-Rockets Coach Kevin McHale: ‘James Harden Is Not A Leader, That’s Not His Personality’
Less than six months after leading the Houston Rockets to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 18 years, the organization decided to part ways with head coach Kevin McHale just 11 games into the 2015 season.
Apparently, the former coach still holds a bit of resentment with how his tenure ended. He recently explained during an “Open Court” segment on NBA TV that Rockets superstar James Harden can do amazing things on the floor at times, but he is clearly not a leader.
“I think it makes them a much better team because you had James Harden with the ball, he’s fantastic with the ball – the guys got phenomenal vision, James can see all the passes and do everything but James is not a leader. He tried being a leader last year and doing that stuff, I think Chris Paul is going to help him do that stuff and get back to just hoop and play. On every team you need to have a voice, you have to have somebody that when he says something, everybody listens. Look, if James tells you ‘Chuck, you’ve got to play better [defense]!’ Are you going to listen to him? You’re kidding me! I lived through it, everybody in the locker room [shook their head].”
— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 6, 2017
With Mike D’Antoni as the coach, Harden found a great balance between his scoring and passing, finishing second in points (29.1) and first in assists (11.2) per game, all while making an easy transition from shooting guard to point guard.