It has been a far from ideal season for the Houston Rockets. Their campaign came to an end at the hands of the Golden State Warriors this week but there was an inevitability about their fate from the moment they clinched eighth spot in the Western Conference.
Having reached the Western Conference Finals last season, it has been a spectacular fall from grace for the Rockets as their campaign has been overshadowed by problems off the court.
However, general manager Daryl Morey has moved, once again, to dispel any suggestions of unrest in the camp, saying other franchises have created stories about their so-called issues.
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It's smart for other teams to paint us in a negative light," Morey said, via Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. "All the articles you see out there are all other teams trying to, very smartly, paint our situation as negative."
The main issue in question is that of unrest between the two star players in the locker-room. There have been numerous suggestions that James Harden and Dwight Howard do not see eye-to-eye.
Howard has a player option on his current deal with Houston but, if reports are to be believed, he will reject it in search of pastures new.
TNT panelist and former MVP Charles Barkley recently said that he would not like to play with Harden, but Morey spoke out to defend his superstar talent.
He said: "James Harden, I don't know who wouldn't want to play with him. He's a top-five player in the league."