The Houston Rockets ended the season with a humiliating record. While the James Harden team managed to clinch an NBA playoffs 2016 spot, the first round immediately eliminated them. This result came even after the Golden State Warriors lost Stephen Curry to injuries. With only Draymond Green and Klay Thompson leading the defending NBA champs, the Dwight Howard team fell to a sweeping loss in the first series matchup of the NBA playoffs 2016. At the moment, the Houston Rockets are said to be reviewing their options. With the impending Kevin Durant free agency, does this mean the end of the James Harden era? Is it time for a new superstar to take on the lead role in the Houston Rockets roster?
One of the main problems of the Houston Rockets is the chemistry between James Harden and Dwight Howard. Both stars, who played for big teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and OKC before signing with the Jason Terry squad, reportedly failed to work together to carry the team to victory. Howard, who had been hailed a hero in Orlando Magic, became the pariah in the Houston Rockets after Harden reportedly pointed out the former's inability to earn his keep. However, rumors are rife that the problem may not be primarily about Howard. In fact, some believe that The Beard is the biggest reason behind the NBA playoffs 2016 fail of the Houston Rockets.
"Harden is a tremendous player, but he's not bringing it for the team," commented Robert Reid of The Beard. The former Houston Rockets star added, "I'm sorry, I'm just going to say it. Harden looks after Harden."
The issue of Harden's character has been the focus of some media reports in the past. Speculations earlier noted that one of the reasons behind the decision of the Russell Westbrook squad to part with The Beard was his partying - a concern that was possibly amplifed by his romance with "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" star Khloe Kardashian. Along with his behavior, which some likened to that of NFL's Johnny Manziel, Harden was bashed for his on-court attitude. That is, the Houston Rockets leader appears to only make plays for his own benefit. This could be described as one of the reasons for his disconnect from fellow superstar Dwight Howard.
"The new coach that they bring in here is the one that's going to have to say, 'I'm the one who gets fired if we don't win, not you. Do you feel lucky? Because your happy-jack behind will be at the end of the bench until you come to this game that we want to play,'" said Reid of the proper attitude the Houston Rockets head coach must project by next NBA season.
Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets find themselves minus one potential head coach for the next NBA season. JB Bickerstaff, who took over after Kevin McHale was fired mid-season, opted to be out of the running for the job.
League sources revealed to The Vertical, "After a meeting with ownership and the front office on Monday, Houston Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff has informed team officials he's no longer a candidate for the head-coaching job."