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My informed speculation on the end of Harden's tenure

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by justtxyank, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    This is what I believe.

    Following the end of the bubble, James Harden believed the Rockets could not compete for a title. He wanted what Westbrook got in OKC. A situation where the team and the player both realized the jig was up and they traded their superstar in a glorious send off with no hard feelings. He and Kevin Durant got together and decided they needed to team up.

    Only one problem...The Houston Rockets did NOT believe they needed to blow it up and start over like OKC did. Suddenly there is a rift. The Rockets want to keep shooting for the title and Harden wants out.

    What makes me believe this:
    - We have reporting from Feigen that Harden was on the verge of demanding a trade LAST year before the WB move because he didn't think the team could win
    - We have reporting that Harden was pretty dejected after Lakers bubble series, feeling hopeless about winning
    - Harden worked out with Durant early on, before Morey quit and that's when they decided to team up
    - Harden declined extension early in offseason, before trade demands
    - Westbrook wanted out early in offseason

    But here are other big hints:
    - As soon as the offseason started moving, the Rockets were pushing back on narrative that they were not trying to win this year. It was weird. We had reports that Harden/Westbrook were concerned the team wasn't trying to win this year. Made zero sense.
    - At their press conferences, Silas and Stone both stressed over and over that this is a win now situation. Like why wouldn't it be? You had James Harden. Why did they need to make that point?
    - A report came out that Tilman had zero interest in a rebuild. Um...ok?
    - Feigen came out almost immediately in offseason with a story that the Rockets did not want to trade either star.

    More:
    - When the 76ers were flirting with MDA a report came out that they thought it would help them lure Harden. Everyone laughed.
    - When the Nets hired him as an assistant, same report.
    - When Morey quit and took the 76ers job the leak was within hours that he wanted to trade for James Harden. Everyone laughed.

    So, there you have it.
     
  2. ipaman

    ipaman Contributing Member

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    A big bullet you missed, imo, is covid. Harden (not alone here) has really struggled with the isolation, bubble, rules, including this season. Harden is the type of personality that if he aint right mentally (look at Kyrie) it affects his whole life. I really think covid put Harden and many others into borderline depression and all of Harden's outlets were closed off to him. All he had was basketball and he came up short there too.
     
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  3. dmoneybangbang

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    Upset at Harden for how he handled his last few months and upset at ownerships blindness and incompetence.

    But in the end.... the game is the game.
     
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  4. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member
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    Good post, but it's over....doesn't matter now.

    DD
     
  5. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    Harden was in Vegas and hanging out with rappers while his teammates were preparing for the season.

    harden shows up bigger than boogie cousins.

    he’s going to a team where he’s not the the best player.
     
  6. MaxRider

    MaxRider Member

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    I think the whole thing started when MDA is gone and then Morey left.
     
  7. csc177

    csc177 Member

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    I think Kyrie harden and KD had a plan all along...if so...they should be applauded- it was masterful.
     
  8. ElPigto

    ElPigto Member
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    That is one well thought out explained theory.
     
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  9. HP3

    HP3 Member

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    I dont believe that he asked out until Morey and MDA left. I think he at least stays one more year. Hmm....just questions but are you saying that Athletic report that Harden asked out as soon as Silas was hired was a leak by Tillman? Or that Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes(as well as Codman I believe) were saying that Harden/Westbrook were upset because they wanted Tye Lue?

    It sounds like Harden already had one foot out the door but was willing to give it one more shot but then everyone he cared about was gone.

    This is also with the assumption that Daryl Morey just flat out quit on us because of James and honestly I dont believe that.
     
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  10. VooDooPope

    VooDooPope Contributing Member
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    Loved him while he was here but it was obvious watching him play this season he quit on the team.

    Over the years he played hard on the court but he wrecked our team with his input on personnel decisions, then bolted when he and his buddy Westbrick couldn't co-exist on the same team.

    Don't the let door hit ya on the way out. Good riddance.

    EDIT - And F*#K Tilman for turning our team into the Joes Crab Shack of sports teams. Horrible product pretending to be good (from the top down). Excluding the players who are out there giving their all. They have my support but F*#K Tilman.
     
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  11. Nook

    Nook Member

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    The minute that Daryl Morey left the organization is the minute that the Rockets lost any chance of keeping James Harden.

    The arrogance of some within the organization to think that Harden's loyalty was to the name on the front of the jersey, and not those people that he had relationships with and confidence in...... once those people were gone, there wasn't much reason for him to stick around.

    I will pull for him when he doesn't play the Houston Rockets. I doubt I will ever see a player quite like him on the offensive side of the court, he had a certain degree of dominance that only a few players in basketball history could match.
     
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  12. The Cat

    The Cat Contributing Member

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    Pretty much agree with all of this. By the way, one more note:

    As has been reported by Woj and others (and I've heard it myself), the big domino was the offseason workouts between Harden and KD. That's when the curiousity became a firm desire. It's absolutely tampering, of course, but there doesn't seem to be much that the NBA can realistically do about player-to-player recruiting. (By the way, in hindsight, having the lone "off year" of Harden's tenure immediately before Durant's 2016 FA was the worst luck ever.)

    Anyway, that's why I absolutely do not believe the Haynes comment about Fertitta/Stone not wanting to deal with Morey. (MacMahon has also firmly contradicted that.) If the Rockets wanted to be petty, I think they have a much bigger axe to grind with KD/the Nets than they do Morey, because those workouts were 100% what escalated this situation so quickly. Yet, they sent him there, anyway, because they think the future value of all those picks (likely on the trade market) presents more upside than Simmons, due to his shooting deficiency.

    Is it a gamble? Absolutely. Could they be wrong? Sure. I'm not telling you that they're 100% right, there are viable arguments that can be made on both sides. But I do think it's silly to see reports that their choice was based on personal feelings or grudges. IMO, if that were the case, he'd be anywhere but Brooklyn.
     
  13. HP3

    HP3 Member

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    Is Chris Haynes not reliable now? Seems like everyone close to the organization has a spin to put on this.
     
  14. Reeko

    Reeko Member
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    Wasn’t the popular “this was all planned” theory on CF that Morey and Harden were colluding and Morey was in the midst of executing some master plan?
     
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  15. ClutchCity9495

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    As soon as the Rockets stopped letting Harden run the entire show, and learned how to say "NO" to him on things, he didn't like it and took his ball and went home. It is the right time to make the move, we gave it a good run, I do think the one year we could have won if Paul not hurt, or no Warriors Dynasty in the way. But it happened, no looking back. Era's cannot last forever, things are not doom and gloom here right now. We are in a Semi Rebuild, were getting younger, we have picks and can go either way. Either we use them acquire another star, or we build. It will be really important that Houston has great scouts. Right now considering we had no picks, there seems to be upside with Tate, Martin, and Jones. Maybe the other kid Thomas if gets a chance. Plus we got a nice Centerpiece in Wood. I for one really enjoyed watching the game last night even shorthanded, loved the ball movement, the hustle and grit. We have direction, and if things don't go well you have pieces acquire more picks for Tucker, Oladipo, and maybe Gordon. If we are competing and show a chance, you don't trade them and give it a shot, but the West is loaded. We weren't going to win it with Harden anyway. Harden is one of those guys don't get his way cause has an ego where he gets what he wants, Houston couldn't accomodate anymore because we lost all flexibility. No Draft Capital, no room to maneuver for players. To be honest, I'm more excited Morey is gone. Yes there was no better chess player when came staying ahead of the salary cap, and him pulling off the Harden trade was a genius move. Which I could see us going that direction again for a new star eventually. But Morey who is intelligent MIT grad, had many flaws that were blinded, and it is a culture problem, very similar you saw what happen with Lunhow. Everybody was treated as an asset, would have been better if we had a balance with his analytic genius, and a real basketball guy, a consultant when have been nice. But we never had, we had gimmicks like small ball. My biggest disappointed in the Harden/Morey era is the one main thing, for this system tried to play, we never had a pure shooter. To many players came through here couldn't shoot. When shooters were available, we never got them. And also the way he treated draft capital was awful. We never developed young players here. We were one of the oldest teams in the league, we hit the ceiling with no more assets and old and broken down. Harden could see what was going on, and all hope was lost. I don't like comparing Stone to Morey. Morey is way better manipulating, and playing the game of chess. Stone will never have Morey gift, but Stone background, he is a smart guy, different background, but around long enough, and if you see moves we have made now, you can see a movement to a small rebuild. I can't argue with the Tate move, great find. We got 3 of the better undrafted players you could get. And we still can be competitive with players like Wall. Actually, give credit for finding a Sterling Brown, these aren't stars, but we got someone that can shoot. Good role player fit. But I feel we are 3 years away for our time, so moving Harden may be the right move anyway. You will see by trade deadline a direction, if we climb the standings, we can keep things intact. If we falter and so so, we have further assets to trade. We have no MVP in the lineup anymore, but an All-Star backcourt, and the Most Improved player in the League in Wood. Things are not lost, and frankly as a Rocket fan since 1974, I'm more excited about this squad then what we had last few years. Harden will always be one of the best offensive players ever play the game, deserves his credit, but he is never going to be Olajuwon, but cause players like Harden do one thing well, one of the best, but players like Hakeem, Lebron, Kobe, and Jordan did many things well, which to me is what separates them from Harden. The Rockets were here before Harden, and will be long after. No one player is bigger then the team. To be honest since this site been up, I have seen more complaining and whining during the Harden Era, then ever even in the Yao time frame, there were beloved players here like Scola, Landry, Battier, Brooks, feel like that has been lost lately, and True Rocket fans have become disconnected with the team. Even though we have had success not long ago with Harden, and always grateful, I don't feel the true love of fandom. Of course Houston is very fickle. My heart is with the name on front of the jersey, and not the back. I only want players here that feel the same way. Looking forward to watching this group grow, hope you are as well. Also give Silas a few season see how he does.
     
    #15 ClutchCity9495, Jan 15, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
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  16. Trader_Jorge

    Trader_Jorge King of the D&D, The Legend, #1 Ranking

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    Good thread and good original post, but I think it's much simpler.
    • Harden like D'Antoni and D'Antoni moved on
    • The hiring of a rookie head coach (Silas), suggests to Harden that the Rockets might not be looking to compete for a title this year.
     
  17. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't even consider this speculation. I would say this is definitely what happened.
     
  18. HP3

    HP3 Member

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    There are too many conflicting reports out there to say that this definitively happend.
     
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  19. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    Well MDA left the minute the season ended so sure, he didn't ask out before then.

    But as I've laid out, there is a ton of evidence that he wanted out before Morey wanted out and absolutely before they hired a coach.

    I don't think Morey quit because of James. I think there was a lot of tension building. The China thing, the constant pressure here, spending limits, the really bad media coverage, getting turned down by Doc who wanted nothing to do with coming here even though he was close to Morey and then yes, Harden turning down the extension and indicating his commitment was soft at the least. I don't think it was any ONE thing.

    But to me the evidence clearly points to Harden wanting out independently of anything the Rockets could do. As to it being about his trust issues when Morey left, his closest confidant in the org was Tad Brown. The two of them had regular communication.
     
  20. Mr. Space City

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    you'll never get a complete clear picture, because the current sports media landscape is based on unverified unanmed sources and writers with a clear bias
     
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