Rockets’ James Harden admits successful partnership with Mike D’Antoni is because ‘he lets me do what I want’
Houston Rockets guard James Harden isn’t a man of many words, but the few spoken reveal much more than extended verbiage would expect. The reigning MVP has flourished under head coach Mike D’Antoni and after two years under his helm, finally revealed the secret to their successful partnership.
“Because he lets me do what I want,” said Harden, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.
His short quote could reveal exactly what led the likes of Trevor Ariza to leave the organization after resenting preferential treatment to the star players, something that didn’t sit well with his team-first approach. But Harden paused, then went into further detail as to why he and D’Antoni have gotten the most out of each other during the past two seasons.
“One thing I’ve learned from him is he’s a great communicator,” added Harden “Not to me or not to Chris (Paul) I’m talking about the entire roster. When you have a coach like him that communicates from player one to 15, it’s one of the best feelings.
“Mike is a genius, man. He’s one of the coolest guys I’ve met in my life. He knows basketball. He knows what he’s talking about. He never yells. He’s so cool. You want to make him happy. You want to run through a wall for him.”
That partnership saw the Rockets win 65 games last season, a franchise high, accompanied by a long postseason run that fell only a game shy of the NBA Finals. If the two keep clicking the same way, it’s only a matter of time and opportunity before they break through.