A team is only going to go as far as the leaders it puts in place. One thing that we seem to know for certain, Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard has trouble maintaining longterm positive team relationships.
The latest evidence of that is a story that comes from NBA.com about Dwight and teammate James Harden both trying to convince Houston Rockets brass to trade each other away.
For three seasons with Harden and Howard, the Rockets have lacked leadership on the court and are not seen by opponents as a team that works hard. Both want the perks and trappings of being the big dog pulling the wagon, but neither will do the real work. Howard smiles and says everybody should keep positive thoughts. Harden shrugs his head and goes back to seeking his next 40-point game.
Howard and Harden have been an oil-and-water mix since they came together for the 2012-13 season. It was only days after Damian Lillard’s 3-point dagger eliminated them in the first round of their first playoff series together when both were sending out messages and maneuvering to get the other one traded.
Everyone wants to be the leader but they aren’t always willing to make certain sacrifices to win. Dwight will likely stay-put beyond Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. He’ll be a free agent in the offseason and move on to his fourth team.