Former Houston Rockets coach Kevin Mchale doesn’t think James Harden is a leader. According to the former Boston Celtic, and Hall Of Famer, Harden is a great player, but he’s no leader. When asked what he thought about Chris Paul joining the Rockets, Mchale replied
“I think it makes them a much better team because you had James Harden with the ball, he’s fantastic with the ball…..the guys got phenomenal vision. James can see all the passes and do everything but James is not a leader. He tried being a leader last year and doing that stuff, I think Chris Paul is going to help him do that stuff and get back to just hoop and play. On every team you need to have a voice, you have to have somebody that when he says something, everybody listens. Look, if James tells you ‘Chuck, you’ve got to play better defense!’ Are you going to listen to him? You’re kidding me! I lived through it, everybody in the locker room shook their head.”
Harden didn’t take too kindly to the comments from his former coach. When asked about it, Harden responded
“He’s a clown. Honestly, I did anything and everything he asked me to do. To go on air and downplay my character like that. it shows his character. I usually don’t go back and forth on social media with anybody, or interviews, but I need to stand up for myself, and there it is. Just don’t go and do that. It shows the type of person he is.”
Mchale coached Harden on the Rockets team from 2012 until the start of the 2015 – 2016 season. Mchale was fired 11 games into the season. The Rockets went 45-37 under Mchale in 2012 -2013, 54-28 in 2013 – 2014, and 52-26 in 2014-2015. The Rockets were tossed from the playoffs in the first round in two of those seasons under Mchale. The team made it to the Western Conference Finals before being eliminated by the Goden State Warriors in the 2014 -2015 season.