Sports | November 18, 2020 10:23 am

Do Harden and Westbrook Want Out of Houston Because of the Owner’s Ties to Trump?

Former GM Daryl Morey and ex-coach Mike D’Antoni have already left the Rockets

Are Houston Owner Tilman Fertitta’s Ties to Trump Why Harden, Westbrook Want Out?
Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta makes remarks during a roundtable in the State Dining Room of the White House.
Getty Images

According to one NBA insider, a reason superstar Rocket guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook may want out of Houston is because they have a problem with the organization’s owner’s support of President Donald Trump.

Appearing on The Odd Couple podcast with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker, longtime NBA reporter Ric Bucher said the “revolt” that is happening in Houston is related to Tilman Fertitta’s relationship with the outgoing president and ties to the Republican party.

“What I heard is — and we know how much politics and political position had to do with the boycott and protests during the Bubble — I’m hearing that Tilman Fertitta’s strong Republican support and donations is one of the things that is contributing to this dissatisfaction, and those two [Westbrook and Harden] are not the only ones to want out of Houston,” Bucher said. “Lesser players are of the same mind. There is a revolt here because they look at Fertitta as a guy who supports the current president.”

A spokesperson for Fertitta’s company Landry’s told TMZ the billionaire has also shown support for the incoming president by donating to Joe Biden’s campaign.

“Throughout his business career, Tilman Fertitta has supported many individuals in public service. He has hosted numerous fundraisers for President Bill Clinton and hosted President George W. Bush in his home,” according to the Landry’s rep. “He also contributed to President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign. As a respected business leader recognized across the country, Fertitta supports many Democrats, as well as Republicans.”

Fertitta donated $35,000 to the “Trump Victory” campaign, $35,000 to the Republican National Committee and $35,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to Houston’s ABC 13.

Former Houston general manager Daryl Morey and ex-Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni have already left the franchise this offseason and, though the organization says it is “willing to get uncomfortable” with its star guards as training camp opens and the season begins, Westbrook and Harden could be following them out the door.

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