An implosion within the Houston Rockets has taken place and it seems like it’s going to get worse before it gets better. The team already lost longtime coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey this offseason, and nearly every key player on their roster has expressed anger with the organization in recent months.
That includes both Russell Westbrook and James Harden, each of which have demanded a trade in the past few weeks, Harden reportedly wanting to join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.
While the organizational issues and lack of accountability have been documented as a reason for much of unhappiness, another factor is reportedly leading to the exodus. According to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, owner Tilman Fertitta’s public support of Donald Trump has led to a revolt.
“I immediately thought this was Daryl Morey leaving, and Mike D’Antoni leaving, and Russell Westbrook and James Harden going ‘no offense to Stephen Silas or Rafael Stone, but we don’t want a starter kit, we’re playing for a championship,'” Bucher said on Fox Sports Radio. “No matter how much you regard Stephen Silas or Stone, these guys are brand new at the job, and what’s our expectation that they’re going to be able to make the moves necessary for us to leapfrog the Lakers.
“But what I heard is — and we know how much politics and political position had to do with the boycott and protests during the Bubble — I’m hearing that Tilman Fertitta’s strong Republican support and donations is one of the things that is contributing to this dissatisfaction, and those two [Westbrook and Harden] are not the only ones to want out of Houston. Lesser players are of the same mind. There is a revolt here because they look at Fertitta as a guy who supports the current President.”
In addition to the trade demands from Westbrook and Harden, the Rockets traded wing Robert Covington this week to the Portland Trail Blazers.