Former Rockets coach Kevin McHale loves James Harden’s game, but says leadership isn’t his forte.

By Jeremy Woo
October 06, 2017

During an appearance on NBATV, former Rockets coach Kevin McHale weighed in on his former team, James Harden and the addition of Chris Paul to the locker room.

He spoke openly about what he perceived as leadership struggles from Harden in the locker room, and said he thought Paul would bolster the Rockets this season. McHale was fired by Houston after starting 4–7 in 2015, and Harden blossomed last season under Mike D’Antoni while playing point guard, sliding over from the two.

“I think [adding Paul] makes them a much better team because you had James Harden with the ball, he’s fantastic with the ball - the guy’s got phenomenal vision...James can see all the passes and do everything but James is not a leader,” McHale said.

“He tried being a leader last year and doing that stuff, I think Chris Paul is going to help him do that stuff and get back to...just hoop and play. On every team you need to have a voice, you have to have somebody that when he says something, everybody listens. Look, if James tells you ‘Chuck (Barkley), you’ve got to play better (defense).’ Are you going to listen to him? You’re kidding me. I lived through it, everybody in the locker room [shook their head].”

The Rockets added Paul, P.J. Tucker and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to their roster over the summer and are projected to finish among the top teams in the Western Conference again. 

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