The Houston Rockets are having a franchise changing type of offseason as both of their superstars reportedly want out after just one season of playing alongside each other.
Both of their superstars, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, have already requested trades. One NBA insider said he believes it has to do less with basketball and more with owner Tilman Fertitta’s political views.
Longtime NBA reporter Ric Bucher went on
“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 the podcast.
“But what I heard is — and we know how much politics and political position had to do with the boycott and protests during the (NBA) 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.”
Fertitta purchased the Rockets in 2017. Not only is he close to President Trump, he was also critical of GM Daryl Morey’s tweets supporting protests in Hong Kong, which drew huge backlash from China. Morey has since left the team and joined the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Rockets have been competitive for years, but it appears they will be in rebuilding mode for years to come.