The James Harden-Houston Rockets divorce is going to start getting ugly.
On Monday night, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a bombshell when he revealed that Harden had turned down a $50 million a year extension from the Rockets and asked to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets instead.
Sources: After turning down an extension offer to become the first $50M a year player in league history, James Harden’s message to Houston is clear: Get me to Brooklyn. Rockets and Nets have been in contact, but there’s been no meaningful dialogue. https://t.co/qwJOQOxz5U
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 17, 2020
After turning down the chance to become the first $50 million a year player in league history, Houston Rockets guard All-NBA guard James Harden has made it clear to ownership that he’s singularly focused on a trade to the Brooklyn Nets, sources tell ESPN.
As Harden’s conversations with the Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving ramped up in recent weeks on the West Coast, sources say the Rockets made a pitch for him to sign the maximum allowable extension — two years and $103 million on top of the remaining three years, $133 million on his current deal.
Fox Sports NBA insider Ric Bucher is now reporting that one of the reasons Harden wants out of Houston is because owner Tilman Fertitta is an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump. Bucher also states that Harden isn’t the only Rockets’ player who is unhappy about Fertitta’s close relationship with Trump.
Via Fox Sports
“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.”.”
Last month, The Ringer reported that Fertitta had donated over $1.2 million to the Republican party since 2015.