Dwight Howard has been the subject of media scrutiny all season long and there have been many reports on him being unhappy with the Houston Rockets. Many of those same reports have been saying that Howard and James Harden hate each other and have tried to get each other traded. That may or may not be the case, but Howard certainly isn’t coming out and agreeing with those reports.
During a recent interview with USA Today, Howard denied that he has any hate for Harden.
“People feel … like we hate each other. I have no hate in my blood for this man, you know? For what? He came from nothing. We both came from nothing. And we’re doing something that we love. We grew up playing this game for fun, and we had big dreams of making it to the NBA. So I would never hate this man because I know what it took for me to get here, and he made it. So I want him to succeed. I want us to succeed. I just – before coming here—I watched endless hours of YouTube videos on James Harden, before he had the beard. I watched all that stuff, because I’m like, ‘Dang, this boy, he’s got so much talent.'”
Houston is currently in the fight for seeding in the Western Conference playoff race. They hold a 35-35 record, which is good enough for the seventh seed.
Howard and Harden will have to catch fire down the stretch of the season and into the playoffs for the Rockets to have any chance. They were able to do so last year and led the Rockets to the Western Conference Finals. While there doesn’t appear to be a likely chance of that happening this year, nothing can be counted out at this point.
Throughout the course of the 2015-16 season, Howard has been having a roller coaster ride from a performance standpoint. He has not been consistent, but has had some massive games as well.
He has averaged 14.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game so far this season. Howard has shot an impressive 61.3 percent from the field overall and has knocked down just 50.5 percent of his foul shots. Even though he hasn’t been as prominently featured offensively, Howard has still found ways to make major impacts.
Hopefully there is no rift between Harden and Howard, but that will be seen as the season continues.