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James Harden on Rockets career: Team hasn’t been ‘on the same page’


James Harden bemoaned how disharmony last season completely derailed the Houston Rockets’ 2015-16 campaign. Worse yet, the superstar hinted that the team has never been on the same page in the four seasons he has been with the team.

The superstar did say recently, though, that he is heading into the 2016-17 NBA season optimistic that’s all in the past. Citing how Rockets players have been participating in workouts together throughout the offseason, Harden pointed out how he perceives a completely different mentality heading into training camp this weekend.

“It’s not even close,” Harden said, via the Houston Chronicle. “We’ve doing something I haven’t since I’ve been here in Houston. Just trying to shake things up, just trying to make sure we really know each other in and out on and off the court. I think that will translate to a better team.”

The Rockets will take on a significantly different look in the upcoming season. With Dwight Howard gone and a new head coach in Mike D’Antoni, among other changes, the decision seems to have been made by the Rockets that it’s now Harden’s team.

The Rockets struggled throughout the 2015-16 campaign, going from a 56-win regular season and an appearance in the Western Conference Finals in 2014-15 to a 41-41 record. Harden suggested that disharmony was “an extremely big problem.”

The firing of Kevin McHale only 11 games into the season arguably led to some of the disharmony to which Harden alludes. The growing perception that the playing styles of Harden and Howard clashed didn’t help matters, either. Nor did allegations regarding Harden’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering.

Reports last season indicated that Harden orchestrated McHale’s dismissal and also conspired to get Howard moved at the trade deadline. Still, Harden seems to understand the onus is on him to get everyone on the same page heading into the new season.

When asked what he expected to accomplish with the start of training camp on Saturday, here’s what Harden had to say:

“To build something that I haven’t had since I’ve been here, that’s everybody on the same page, everybody in the same boat.”

[Pro Basketball Talk]