Rockets’ PJ Tucker addresses rumors of friction involving Chris Paul last season
Paul was rumored to be in conflict with coach Mike D’Antoni’s decision to run a James Harden-led offense, which rendered him only able to handle the ball when The Beard was off the court. There were also specific rumors about Paul and Harden being at odds with each other in general.
Tucker didn’t make much of it, claiming this kind of thing happens with every team, not just the Rockets:
“It’s funny, man, in every locker room there’s friction,” said Tucker in an interview with Brian Geltzeiler of SiriusXM NBA Radio. “It’s friction. Guys want to win. Guys want to play. Guys not playing, they want to play. Guys that are playing want more shots, it’s this. It’s so much going on in an NBA locker room, but there was nothing quintessentially to make Chris [Paul] leave or for anything to happen. We had a great team. We won 65 games and 59 games the year after, you know, we had a great team. Even though we didn’t win the championship, we had great years. And there was nothing — that was a total build-up of people just talking. For the most part everybody was great.”
Was there friction with the Rockets surrounding Chris Paul last season?
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) November 1, 2019
Paul didn’t seem aggressive toward anyone in particular, but it comes to reason to hear a point guard of his caliber not being happy about an offense that routinely takes the ball out of his hands.
Losing will always draw the worst from players, and after taking four playoff exits in the last five years at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, it’s likely tempers flared on the Rockets, even if Paul didn’t mean to cause problems.