Rockets’ Danuel House Jr. doesn’t think there’s tension between James Harden, Chris Paul
The reported tension between the Houston Rockets’ backcourt tandem of James Harden and Chris Paul is one Danuel House Jr. thinks as nonexistent. While the former G League product acknowledged the two have their differences, he argued Paul and Harden are close, regardless of recent reports of palpable tension between the two:
“I think they’re close,” Danuel House told Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “They talk all the time, they do a lot together and they joke all the time. But they work differently.”
“I felt like there wasn’t any tension, me personally being there. But being a younger guy and sticking to my role and trying to lock in, I can’t really focus on what happened or what’s been said or done.”
House believes the stakes of playing such a high-pressure Game 6 against the Golden State Warriors without Kevin Durant is what really sparked the flames of rumors regarding the Rockets’ star-studded backcourt.
The Rockets faced a must-win scenario after letting the last 14-plus minutes of Game 5 get away from their grasp after Durant was ruled out for the game with a calf strain. Unfortunately, they succumbed to the pressure, resulting in yet another playoff exit at the hands of their archenemy:
“Yeah of course,” House added. “In the playoffs, no one wants to lose. Everyone wants to be crowned the champion. I just feel like it’ll work itself out, like it always does. It’s just two great competitors that want to win and bring the city of Houston a championship. They’re trying to get it done at all costs, so look at it like that instead of seeing it as tension.”
The report was very specific in signaling Paul and Harden’s differences. Perhaps House, a younger player fighting for minutes, was not as keenly focused on the Rockets’ all-around chemistry while worrying about making the most of his minutes on the floor.