Golliver On Rockets: "When There's Smoke, There's Fire"

Houston, we have a problem...

Reiter Than You
June 18, 2019 - 8:59 pm
James Harden Chris Paul Houston Rockets NBA

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Houston, we have a problem.

Chris Paul reportedly wants a new NBA home, as his relationship with James Harden has been deemed “unsalvageable.”

“When you look at the Houston Rockets, when there’s smoke, there’s fire,” NBA reporter Ben Golliver said on Reiter Than You. “There’s been some frustration clearly within that playoff series, their loss to Golden State. There’s been frustration at other points, whether it’s in huddles or on the court between the stars and some of the other players.”

And now it appears Paul and Harden are headed for divorce.

“Putting so much on James’ shoulders, it’s tough for any player – but especially a star – to be able to buy into that kind of a system when NBA history says you have to move the basketball and you have to move bodies to win the title,” Golliver said. “It’s tough when Houston just hasn’t done that.”

Houston also hasn’t nipped the drama in the bud. Golliver, in fact, attributes much of the offseason dissension to Tilman Fertitta’s “failure of ownership.”

“He responded to that playoff loss by fanning the flames, putting gasoline on the fire,” Golliver said. “He really ratcheted up his own statements, he was really blustery in how he handled things, he got out in front of the media and made all sorts of big-time promises – and that’s not what was needed. They needed somebody to pull everybody back together, to be kind of a calming influence and take the longer-term view. Unfortunately, they’re in a situation right now where it sounds like it’s very fractured between their stars, it’s going to be very difficult to trade Chris Paul given his contract, and you can’t trade James Harden because he’s your franchise guy. 

“So, it’s just a very dicey situation, and to me, it all goes back to the owner,” Golliver continued. “He’s the one who should have struck a different tone coming out of that postseason, trying to pull everybody back together, be conciliatory. He didn’t do that, and now they’re stuck with the mess.”

Click below to listen to Golliver’s interview in its entirety.