The Houston Rockets are journeying through a tough offseason that has seen their internal issues take center stage, with the main issue centering around former league MVP James Harden.
According to thegrio.com, Houston Rockets owner, Tilman Fertitta’s donations to the Trump campaign has caused many in the organization to “revolt,” including Harden who might leave the playoff-making team all together.
“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,” NBA insider Ric Bucher said, according to a TMZ report.
Bucher added, “There is a revolt here because they look at Fertitta as a guy who supports the current President.” Fertitta bought the team in 2017 for $2.2 billion. If the reports are true, Harden’s exit will have a devastating affect on the team’s overall performance.
In the 2019-2020 season, Harden scored an average of about 30 points per game, a feat no other player on his rooster has accomplished, including fellow guard Russell Westbrook. It is worth noting that Westbrook has decided to leave the Rockets.
Harden, widely regarded one of the best in the league, signed a 4 year contract with the Houston Rockets in 2016, including about $171 million guaranteed, and an annual average salary of about $43 million according to SporTrac.
If Harden opts to resign with the Rockets, he is expected to make about $44 million in the 2021-2020 season and $47 million in the 2022-2023 season. In addition to speculation about Harden’s future with the Rockets, insiders claim he has interest in joining the Brooklyn Nets next season.
The New York Post notes that Harden’s inclusion in the Nets team is a “potential NBA game-changer.” He would be playing with the likes of fellow high profile athletes such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
It was Harden who helped the Rockets compete against the Los Angeles Lakers in the semifinals western conference, and many fans, including ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, believe the Nets could be a greater challenge against the Lakers if they were to assemble.