Kevin McHale revealed that James Harden once showed up out of shape and uninterested in playing basketball to get him fired.
McHale was the head coach of the Houston Rockets at the time.
This offseason, James Harden has once again finds himself trying to force a team to trade him.
This time around, it’s the Philadelphia 76ers that he is trying to leave, but they are currently taking the stance that they won’t be trading him.
In response to that stance, Harden publicly called Daryl Morey a liar and there have been reports that he is ready to make things uncomfortable for the 76ers during training camp
The whole issue has reportedly arisen as a result of the 76ers not living up to promises they made to Harden about his next contract.
While this standoff for Harden may come with some valid complaints, this kind of situation is also nothing new for him.
Harden showed up out of shape for the season when he wanted the Rockets to trade him. He then forced the Nets to trade him a year after they acquired him.
However, that wasn’t the first time Harden forced a team to make a drastic move.
During the 2015 NBA playoffs, Harden was benched in the 4th quarter of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers while the Rockets were fighting off elimination.
According to former Rockets coach Kevin McHale, Harden was out of shape and didn’t feel like playing when he showed up at the start of the next season. 11 games later, McHale was fired.
McHale surveys this situation and goes inside on what it was like dealing with Harden.
— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) August 17, 2023
“The next year he came to camp, he was fat and didn’t feel like playing, and I got fired (11) games into the season,” McHale said. “He had a plan.”
The team started that season 4-7 and McHale was replaced by JB Bickerstaff.
James Harden has seemingly had a way of getting what he wants over the last few years, but it looks like Kevin McHale believes that is nothing new for the former MVP.