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Recruiting From Harden, Ariza Helped Rockets Sign Eric Gordon

Apr 27, 2017 12:09 PM

James Harden and Trevor Ariza played significant roles in convincing Eric Gordon to sign with the Houston Rockets.

"It was sometime last summer," Gordon writes at The Players Tribune. "Early June, maybe. My phone lights up and I see the name flash on the screen: James Harden."

"James and I have been good friends ever since we played together in the McDonald's All-American game in 2007," Gordon writes, "but I wasn't sure why he would be calling me on a random weekday afternoon. I picked up, and before I could even say anything, James started in with:

"'Are you signing with us, or what?'

"No 'Hey, how's it going?' or anything like that. All business.

"Almost the second I hung up, my phone lit up again. This time it was Trevor Ariza.

"'Are you signing with us, or what?'

"It was like a coordinated attack. I was like, Wow, these guys aren't messing around."

Reid Laymance/Houston Chronicle

Tags: James Harden, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Les Alexander Fined $100,000 By NBA For Confronting Referee

Apr 26, 2017 6:47 PM

Les Alexander has fined $100,000 by the NBA for confronting a referee during live game action.

The interaction occurred with 0:13 remaining in the first quarter of the Rockets’ 105-99 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 25 at Toyota Center.  

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Fines

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NBA Investigating Leslie Alexander For Yelling At Ref During Game 5

Apr 26, 2017 11:57 AM

The NBA is investigating Tuesday's incident where Leslie Alexander left his courtside seat to yell at Bill Kennedy during the first quarter of Game 5.

Alexander has owned the Rockets since 1993.

As Kennedy stood watching a play, Alexander got up from his seat next to the national television table. Hakeem Olajuwon tried to grab the owner's arm, but he kept walking. Alexander stood behind Kennedy for less than five seconds before walking away.

Alexander is typically mild mannered during games.

Alexander said at halftime that he "can't talk about it" and that he was "upset, really upset."

James Harden didn't see the incident back backed Alexander.

"He's just the coolest guy on Earth,'' Harden said. "I would have probably ran over there and tried to help him.''

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Tags: Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Fines

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Thunder Were +5 In Series When Both Westbrook, Harden Were On Floor

Apr 26, 2017 12:45 AM

The Oklahoma City Thunder outscored the Houston Rockets by five points during the minutes of their playoff series in which both Russell Westbrook and James Harden were on the floor at the same time.

The Thunder were +15 when Westbrook was on the floor and -58 with him on the bench in their five-game series.

Westbrook finished the series with averages of 37.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 10.8 assists and 6.0 turnovers per game.

Westbrook and Harden are expected to finish first and second in regular season MVP voting.

Matt Moore/CBS Sports

Tags: Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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James Harden Reveals He Injured Ankle In Game 3

Apr 23, 2017 8:38 PM

James Harden said he has been hobbled by an ankle injury that occurred in Game 3.

Harden went 5-for-16 from the field (including 0-for-7 from 3-point range) and scored 16 points in Game 4.

The Houston Rockets were able to win the game behind a great performance from Nene.

"It was pretty tough; we don't make excuses," Harden said in a news conference when asked about his health. "We just try to go out there and get the job done. You build trust, and trust in your teammates all year long. When there's moments like this, guys step up and they did tonight. We have another opportunity in a few days to go out there and win on our home court, and we're going to have to get off to a really good start."

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Tags: James Harden, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Patrick Beverley Fined By NBA, Says League Needs To Protect Players Better

Apr 23, 2017 6:42 PM

Patrick Beverley said he doesn't feel protected by the NBA after an incident with a fan.

Beverley said he needed to "address the situation before it gets out of hand."

Beverley received a $25,000 fine by the NBA for confronting the fan.

The fan was identified as Stuart Scaramucci, son of Thunder minority owner Jay Scaramucci. 

"I'm OK with the hazing. I'm OK with the boos. I'm OK with other fans rooting for their team. But I'm not OK with the blatant disrespect while I'm on the ground after a foul and a fan is yelling out to me, 'F-you Patrick Beverley, F-you Patrick Beverley, F-you Patrick Beverley,' and waving a clapper in my face," Beverley said Sunday afternoon.

"I'm not comfortable with that. So if the NBA won't protect the players in that situation, I feel the need as a man, as a grown man who has children, who has morals and who stands up for the right thing, I have to protect myself."

The Rockets asked the NBA to review the situation after Beverley told them of the fan's behavior.

Beverley said he has had incidents with fans in Oklahoma City in the past as well.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Fines

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NBA Reviewing Incident Between Patrick Beverley, Son Of Thunder Minority Owner

Apr 22, 2017 3:52 PM

The NBA is reviewing an incident between Patrick Beverley and a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In the first half, Beverley got knocked down after attempting a layup and landed at a fan's feet, identified as Stuart Scaramucci, son of minority Thunder owner Jay Scaramucci. Beverley got up and immediately started to complain about Scaramucci.

Beverley pointed at Scaramucci as referee Scott Foster and several Rockets went to help him up. After the game, Beverley approached Scaramucci, who was sitting behind the basket, and they got into a heated discussion.

The Rockets requested the league look into the incident after Beverley informed them of it.

"The Rockets are taking care of the situation," Beverley said before Saturday's practice. "I'll talk after the investigation is done."

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

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Daryl Morey Subtweets Russell Westbrook On Rebounds

Apr 19, 2017 1:57 PM

Daryl Morey appeared to subtweet Russell Westbrook when replying to a Tweet by Matt Bullard about how Hakeem Olajuwon made it clear that he wanted every available rebound.

Westbrook averaged a triple double this season and frequently called off the bigs of Oklahoma City Thunder to grab rebounds.

Morey has been active in lobbying for James Harden to win MVP.

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Tags: Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Award

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Daryl Morey: Warriors, Spurs, Rockets Have Best Indicators To Win Title

Apr 6, 2017 7:00 PM

The Houston Rockets have the third best net rating in the NBA but questions remain about their defense. The Rockets, however, rank a respectable 16th in defense.

"I think most people thought [we'd rank] 30th, to be honest," Daryl Morey half-joked.

With Mike D'Antoni hired as head coach, the Rockets weren't expected to be this good on defense.

"Historically, some of the best coaches and the best teams had top defenses, [but] it's actually hard to disentangle cause and effect between the style of play that those teams play in, their personnel, and how likely they were to win the title," Morey told VICE Sports. "The most important thing is, are you creating a margin enough to be able to win the title? And historically you have to be somewhere around where we're at, which is like a six or more net margin. Obviously the higher the better, and Golden State has one of the best margins of all time. But we're right there with the Spurs. Us, Golden State, and the Spurs have the best indicators to be champions this year. We just all happen to be in the same conference."

"Sometimes we want to run before we get the ball," Rockets assistant coach and defensive coordinator Jeff Bzdelik told VICE Sports. "And so it's always a constant challenge. The defensive end is not the sexy part of the game."

Michael Pina/Vice Sports

Tags: Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Draymond Green Admits Retaliating To James Harden By Punching His Wrist

Apr 1, 2017 2:08 PM

Draymond Green admitted retaliating to James Harden pinching him by punching Harden's sore left wrist during Friday's game.

"I thought it was a closed fist. I don't know," Harden said. "I don't know what [the referee] saw."

Harden jammed his left wrist on March 18th.

"He pinched me, so I punched his wrist," Green said. "That's pretty much it. He does it often actually, which is kind of adolescent, but whatever."

Harden finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds on 4-of-18 shooting.

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Tags: Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, NBA

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DeMar DeRozan, James Harden Named Players Of The Week
DeMar DeRozan and James Harden have been named the NBA's Players of the Week.

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Ryan Anderson Out Two Weeks With Sprained Right Ankle
Ryan Anderson's tests came back negative.

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

James Harden Helped Facilitate Rockets' Trade For Lou Williams
James Harden reached out to Lou Williams two weeks before the deadline about joining the Rockets.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

James Harden Wants To Play Every Night, Avoid Rest
James Harden has no intention of resting during the regular season, urging Mike D'Antoni to keep playing him.

ESPN

Rockets Sign Troy Williams For Remainder Of Season
Troy Williams has been with the Rockets' NBA Development League affiliate since he was signed March 9.

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Straw Poll Of 106 Media Members Shows Harden Ahead Of Westbrook In MVP Race
James Harden received 53 first-place votes while Russell Westbrook had 26 first-place votes.

Tim Bontemps/Washington Post

Rockets Staying In Baton Rouge Due To High Hotel Prices In New Orleans
The Rockets will hold shootaround in Baton Rouge and then bus nearly two hours to New Orleans on the day of the game.

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Rockets To Sign Troy Williams To 10-Day Contract
Troy Williams was waived by the the Grizzlies in February.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Andrew Bogut Agrees To Sign With Cavaliers
Andrew Bogut also considered the Rockets, Spurs and Celtics.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Mike D'Antoni Was Encouraged His Style Works By Warriors' Title
While away from the game, Mike D'Antoni talked to Alvin Gentry regularly and also touched base with Steve Kerr a couple of times.

Lee Jenkins/Sports Illustrated

Unnamed Head Coach: James Harden Has Become Steve Nash On Steroids
James Harden has simplified his life this season, no longer dating Khloe Kardashian, no longer playing beside Dwight Howard and playing point guard under Mike D'Antoni.

Lee Jenkins/Sports Illustrated

Andrew Bogut Agrees To Buyout, Set To Decide Between Cavs, Rockets, Spurs, Celtics
Andrew Bogut will have conversations over the next 24 hours with those teams before making his decision.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Isaiah Taylor Signs Three-Year Deal With Rockets
Isaiah Taylor has averaged 21.1 points and 6.1 assists in 12 games for the Vipers making 49.7 percent of his shots, 41.3 percent of his 3-pointers.

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Cavs, Spurs, Rockets, Celtics, Jazz Interested In Andrew Bogut
Andrew Bogut wants to pursue a championship and play a significant role for a veteran team.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Lakers Trade Marcelo Huertas To Rockets For Tyler Ennis
The Rockets will waive Marcelo Huertas to clear more cap room for the buyout market.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Rockets Trade K.J. McDaniels To Nets
The Rockets will be able to use K.J. McDaniels' $3 million cap space on the buyout market.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Cavaliers, Knicks, Bulls Interested In Trading For Patrick Beverley
Patrick Beverley would like to remain with the Rockets.

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Rockets Interested In Trading For Iman Shumpert
The Rockets are offering expiring contracts and cash savings for trade partners.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Rockets Acquire Lou Williams From Lakers For 1st Rounder, Corey Brewer
The Rockets will send Corey Brewer and a first round pick to the Lakers for Lou Williams.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

James Harden: Durant, Westbrook 'Have To Figure It Out Themselves'
James Harden has remained close with both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Scott Cacciola/New York Times