Houston Rockets superstar James Harden has insisted that there was “no beef” between him and Dwight Howard during the three seasons they spent together.
According to a source, Harden and Howard’s relationship was “cordially bad” during the 2015/16 season, but Harden denies this.
This summer, Howard declined to pick up his player option and subsequently went on to sign a three-year, $70.5 million deal with his hometown team, the Atlanta Hawks.
“Yeah we’re cool,” Harden said. “It didn’t bother me. I know what the truth is, it’s no beef. We never got into a heated argument. It just didn’t work out.”
In the three seasons they played alongside each other, Harden and Howard led the Rockets to the postseason each time, but they suffered two first-round exits and an appearance in the Western Conference finals.
When asked why the team didn’t have more success, Harden said: “Trust me, if we knew, it would have worked out.”
Harden admitted that there is a different vibe in the Rockets team this season, but he refused to attribute it to the fact that Howard is no longer there.
“Vibe means we have different players and make them feel as comfortable as possible. That’s what I meant by different vibe,” Harden said. “That’s one of the reasons why we had training camp twice in the summer so they can get comfortable quick and then when we came to training camp at the beginning of the season, guys will be playing a lot better. That’s the reason for that.”