There were already rumors that James Harden and Russell Westbrook wanted out of Houston. Now, that seems to be a reality and the reason why isn’t all that surprising.
The Rockets are already starting over when it comes to management with a new general manager and head coach, but now the players are learning that the team’s owner is not just a supporter of President Donald Trump, but he’s also a donor.
According to a new report, Harden, Westbrook and other players are revolting against the Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta’s political preferences. It’s allegedly the reason why both have requested trades and why several of their teammates remain deeply unhappy.
NBA reporter and radio host Ric Bucher recently appeared on the The Odd Couple podcast with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker and said Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta’s support of Trump has led to a “revolt” among players.
“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,'” said Bucher. “No matter how much you regard Stephen Silas or Stone, these guys are brand new at the job, and what’s our expectation that they’re going to be able to make the moves necessary for us to leapfrog the Lakers.”
He continued: “But what I heard is — and we know how much politics and political position had to do with the boycott and protests during the 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.”
According to ABC 13, Fertitta has donated over $100,000 to Trump and Republican organizations in 2020. He reportedly gave $35,000 to the “Trump Victory” campaign and $35,000 to the Republican National Committee. The rest, Fertitta donated to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He also gave sizable donations to related organizations last year.