Rockets stars want out because of owner’s Donald Trump support?
James Harden and Russell Westbrook both want out of Houston, and reports have indicated that has to do with their lack of faith in the direction of the franchise now that head coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey are gone. Is it possible politics have also played a role?
In the latest episode of his “Bucher & Friends Podcast,” Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher revealed he has been told Harden, Westbrook and other players want out of Houston in part because of owner Tilman Fertitta’s political views. Bucher says there was concern among NBA players inside the Orlando bubble that even though owners were saying the right thing and supporting player protests, they also continued to make donations to campaigns supporting Trump and other Republican politicians. That is apparently the main reason players considered boycotting and walking out on the season.
According to Bucher, there is a “revolt” brewing with the Rockets because of Fertitta’s support of Trump.
“For the most part, Fertitta is a staunch Republican and staunch Trump supporter. Add that to the equation of where the players’ mindset was in the bubble and coming out of the bubble, living in Texas, which is still red but moving ever more blue, I’m told that that was the influence and has other players feeling the same as Harden and Westbrook,” Bucher said.
Bucher went on to note that the rumblings “make sense” to him but he is not quite ready to report them as fact.
Numerous NBA stars have been outspoken in their opposition to Trump and the Republican Party. Most notably, LeBron James and Donald Trump have gone back and forth on several occasions. To this point, we had not heard anything about players not wanting to play for certain owners because of political views or affiliations.