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#pounditFriday, September 24, 2021

James Harden, Russell Westbrook put off by Rockets not hiring Tyronn Lue?

James Harden

The Houston Rockets are a pressure cooker waiting to burst right now, and their head coaching search appears to have contributed to the mess.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported this week that Rockets star duo James Harden and Russell Westbrook wanted Tyronn Lue as the next head coach. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta preferred Jeff Van Gundy however. Former Dallas assistant Stephen Silas ultimately got the job as a compromise. But Vardon notes that Harden and Westbrook still tried to force their way out after the hire.

The two stars have both requested trades from Houston, reportedly due to concerns over the direction of the franchise under Fertitta. The Rockets seem to be in no hurry to oblige those wishes however.

There also may be another reason why Westbrook and Harden want out. But a disagreement over a head coaching hire is a surefire way to alienate your star players, regardless of the team.

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