Kevin McHale says name-calling won't change opinion on James Harden
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Kevin McHale says name-calling won’t change his opinion on James Harden

Kevin McHale, James Harden

Things are heating up between Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden and the former head coach of the Rockets turned NBA on TNT analyst Kevin McHale.

It started with McHale breaking down Harden as a player and in the process questioning Harden’s ability to be a leader. McHale essentially said Harden doesn’t have it in his DNA, leads more by example and will now benefit greatly from Chris Paul being on the roster and able to take on that responsibility.

Harden responded and was clearly not pleased with McHale’s comments, ultimately calling him a “clown” for making them.

James Harden

USA TODAY Sports

McHale’s turn again and the Celtics legend had this to say on TNT.

As transcribed by Chris Walder of The Score:

“You calling me names is not going to change my opinion as to what I saw when I was there,” said McHale on Friday night during NBA on TNT. “It’s hard to have a lot of credibility if you don’t play good defense. It’s hard to say, ‘let’s get stops,’ when people are looking at you saying, ‘please stay in front of somebody.'”

“That’s not his (James’) personality. Chris Paul, in turn, will get in your face, go nose-to-nose with you. Say, ‘hey let’s go,’ and I think that’s what you need,” added McHale.

McHale seems to be just being honest in this whole ordeal, something any fan should want from an analyst. He has insight on Harden having coached him and it’s really not hard to believe that there is at least some truth to what he’s been saying.

James Harden

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Harden is coming off his best season as a pro in his first year playing for Mike D’Antoni where he finished second in the MVP voting, running the point and blossoming into likely the best form of a leader he’s ever been. So there has been some growth in that department since his days playing for McHale and therefore understanding if Harden wants to respond and call out McHale as well.

It will be interesting to see if anything else develops in this mini-feud between these two.