It's a bad day for the Houston Rockets. With just weeks to go until the start of the 2020-21 season, the team appears in disarray as they attempt to salvage a messy situation.
With reports dropping today of unhappiness from James Harden, and a trade request by Russell Westbrook, major changes are going to be inevitable for this roster.
But, in a story by The Athletic, Shams Charania also details a number of other issues plaguing Houston, which includes a rather toxic culture that caters far too much to its stars.
Former teammates have described the culture in Houston as problematic, sources said, highlighting a situation that caters far too much to its stars. One example cited was the case of Trevor Ariza, who left the team in 2018 in search of more money, but also more respect, sources said. The Rockets attempted to bring him back down the line but Ariza, sources said, was seeking an apology that never came.
Former teammates also questioned why players like Clint Capela and Chris Paul were traded, according to sources. There have also been complaints about the team’s style of play, both from former and current players on the team, sources said. Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals was the highlight of such complaints, with the team missing 27 straight 3-pointers and not adjusting or incorporating any other offensive strategy, sources said.
We'll never the full extent of the situation, but it sounds like the Rockets have built their entire identity around James Harden, leaving little room for anyone or anything else. Other players are ignored and strategies are underdeveloped.
It remains to be seen how the Rockets plan on addressing these issues, or if they'll even bother.
But, at this point, it's clear that Westbrook (and others) aren't going to stick around and find out.