The Houston Rockets had a horrific season ending in front of the Golden State Warriors, losing in six games against the eventual Western Conference champions even with the Warriors not counting with Kevin Durant after his calf injury in Game 5 of the series. Ever since that we’ve heard plenty of rumors surrounding the team and their players, as nobody seems to be safe to stay in Houston for the upcoming season.
Reports suggested that the whole roster, except James Harden, was on its way out of Toyota Center and in recent days, Chris Paul, Harden’s expected-to-be wingman, has been rumored to be leaving the organization in the coming days, as the relationship with him and the Beard is ‘unsalvageable’.
They didn’t show any chemistry on the floor and were reportedly involved in locker room altercations, and now fans are waiting to see what happens between these two. Some experts, on the other hand, have made their stance on this matter, speaking out their minds.
If there is someone who can speak about these issues, that’s Shaquille O’Neal, who has plenty of stories of this kind. During an appearance on ESPN’s First Take, the four-time NBA Champion discussed why the Rockets can’t transcend beyond being considered a contender team and how the Harden-Paul issue affected the whole team’s performance through the season.
When asked if the Rockets are still contenders, O’Neal said: “Yes, if they play the right way. Tension is good.”
“Me and Kobe had tension all the time, but we respected each other. We respected each other so much that when we won our first championship, he was the first guy to jump in my arms. So you can have tension, you can say ‘hey man, move the ball, we all know the game.’ One guy is not going to do it by himself. One guy taking 40, 50 shots is not going to do it. My problem with the Rockets is: they get to ball to one or two guys and just play one-on-one the whole time.”
“I don’t mind them having tension, you just have to be respectful because holding hands and having great joy and holding hands and having a great championship, I never heard of that story. All the stories I heard about the past is where they had tension, they had beef, but when you step inside the line, you gotta respect each other.”
As stated before, if there is somebody who can talk with property about internal issues, that’s Shaquille O’Neal. However, his words seem to come a little too late, as everything looks decided for the Houston Rockets regarding their two biggest stars.