Rockets’ James Harden told Mike D’Antoni ‘we’ve got to get Chris (Paul) out of here’ during final playoff loss
Exactly why the Houston Rockets decided to trade Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder this offseason is still up for debate. However, while taking part in a recent airing of The Lowe Post podcast, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated noted that James Harden actually asked head coach Mike D’Antoni to “get Chris out of here.”
Spears: “The one thing that I heard, which I will say this, because I have to preface it, that I have to see to believe, but from one rumor – I’ve got to put exclamation point before I say it, right? I don’t know this is fact. But I was told that James ran up to Coach D’Antoni and put his hand over his mic – because D’Antoni was mic’d – and told him, “We’ve got to get Chris out of here.”
ESPN’s Zach Lowe: “Out of the game?”
Lowe: “Out of here here?”
Spears: “Out of here here.”
Paul was traded to the Thunder back in July. The Rockets sent Paul and draft considerations to the Thunder in exchange for Russell Westbrook.
Paul has said that he enjoyed his stint in Houston, but he admits that he was a bit surprised when he learned that he had been traded. Still, the 34-year-old All-Star is grateful to be playing the game he loves.
“My initial reaction?” Paul said with a laugh, via The Undefeated. “I was shocked. Truth be told, I just talked to Daryl a couple days before the trade and he said he wasn’t going to trade me [to Oklahoma City]. That’s funny because that is going to be the alert that pops up on everybody’s phone because nobody knows that. But what the hell, I just said it.
“I’m just grateful to be hooping. … It could be a lot worse.”
In his 20 appearances with the Thunder (8-12) thus far, Paul has racked up averages of 15.1 points on 44.7 percent shooting from the field (37.6 percent from beyond the arc), 6.0 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 30.7 minutes per game per outing.
Meanwhile, Harden and the Rockets are off to a 14-7 start to this season. They’ll be back in action on Saturday, when they’ll serve as hosts to the Phoenix Suns.