Rockets Coach Ime Udkoa Explains Signing Of James Harden3 min read

On the Houston Rockets media day, head coach Ime Udoka mentioned the signing of level guard Fred Van Vleet and why the group selected him over James Harden.

In response to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Van Vleet, who left the Toronto Raptors to come back to Houston, can play off the ball,l making him a greater match for Houston. Udoka, previously with the Boston Celtics, reiterated that stance whereas combating again in opposition to rumors he didn’t need Harden.

“Nothing in opposition to James,” Udoka informed ESPN, “however Fred is only a higher match. I coached James in Brooklyn. He’s one of many smartest gamers I’ve ever been round. The phrases’ Ime doesn’t need James’ by no means got here out of my mouth. It was, ‘Let’s have a look at one of the best match.’ If we wish Jalen and the younger guys to take the subsequent steps, we want them to have the ball. As for me saying I don’t need James, that was by no means the case. It was about match.”

NBA pundit Stephen A. Smith had a distinct take. In response to Smith, Harden informed Udoka and the Rockets brass that he needed to turn out to be the NBA scoring champion once more, which turned Udoka off of signing the 10-time All-Star and seven-time All-NBA Harden.

“James Harden, that is what I used to be informed—he truly talked himself out of a max deal as a result of he went in there speaking about how he needed to return to being that scoring champion,” Smith stated on First Take. “And Ime Udoka and them had been like, ‘Nah, we ain’t making an attempt to have that right here, we’re constructing one thing a little bit bit totally different.’”

Neither Harden nor Udoka have commented on Smith’s rumor. Nonetheless, if the rumor is true, Harden seemingly regrets being so trustworthy. Since Houston declined to deliver him again, Harden is caught in Philadelphia, the place many have stated he has burned bridges with Sixers President Daryl Morey and has been looking for a commerce all summer season.

The Sixers, nevertheless, need an sufficient return for Harden, one thing no group has been keen to surrender for a participant who has a behavior of souring on groups, making commerce calls for, and making a hostile atmosphere. The Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks had been each reported to have an interest within the three-time scoring champion, however each groups have since turn out to be disinterested, leaving Harden in Philadelphia with the NBA season set to start Oct. 24.

RELATED CONTENT: Former Boston Celtics Head Coach Ime Udoka Is Now #TeamHoustonRockets

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