Ime Udoka Reportedly Expressed Disapproval Of Houston Rockets Signing James Harden
For months, the narrative of a James Harden reunion with the Houston Rockets had been gaining traction. The reunion seemed more than just speculation, considering their storied past, Harden’s contract situation, and Houston’s evident need for a veteran playmaker.
However, as free agency rolled in, the Rockets made a different play. They signed Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet to a hefty three-year, $130 million contract, effectively shutting down the potential for a Rockets-Harden reunion.
The Rockets had strayed from the course that was widely anticipated. But this wasn’t a decision without reason. As it turned out, the driving force behind this shift was their newly minted head coach, Ime Udoka.
Per Heavy Sports:
“From everything we’ve gotten out of there, it was a matter that Ime didn’t want him,” one league source told Heavy Sports. “At the beginning, were they thinking about Harden? Yeah. But then they hired Ime, and Ime said, ‘It’s not going to work here.’”