HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO610) – James Harden fired back strongly after former Rockets coach Kevin McHale said that he “is not a leader”.
“He’s a clown,” Harden said Saturday after the Rockets held an open practice at Toyota Center.
According to ESPN.com, McHale, who works as an analyst for TNT and NBA TV said, “(Harden) tried being a leader last year, tried doing all that stuff. I think Chris Paul is going to help him just kind of get back into just being able to hoop and play and stuff like that.”
He then added, “But on every team, you have to have a voice. On every team, you have to have somebody that when they say something, people listen. Like if James tells you, ‘You’ve got to play better D,’ are you going to listen to him? Like you’ve gotta be kidding me. I lived through it. Believe me, Every time he mentioned defense, everybody would put their head down.”
After calling his former head coach “a clown”, Harden continued.
“Honestly, I did anything and everything he asked me to do. Honestly, he’s never taught me anything to be a leader.”
“To go on air and down play my name like that it shows his character. I usually don’t go back and forth on social media with anybody or with interviews, but it’s time to stand up for myself, and there it is. You just don’t go and do that. It shows why type of person he is.”
McHale coached the Rockets during the first three full seasons of Harden’s time with the Rockets. He fired 11 games into the fourth, and reports blamed Harden for his dismissal. Harden was asked if he believes McHale harbors any bitterness towards him.
“Sure, and I had nothing to do with it,” he said. “I’m just here to do my job, compete at the highest level I can, but when you’re here and you’re face-to-face and you’re telling me one thing, how great of a player you are and how lucky he is to be apart of this process, and then you go back a few years later and say the opposite, it shows your character, it shows who you really are, and I’m not that type of person, I don’t operate that way. I don’t say things to somebody behind their back or tell them one thing and go on air and say another thing.”