Following his move to Taiwan, former NBA superstar and Philadelphia 76ers backup center Dwight Howard has jokingly begun recruiting NBA players to come join him, including his former teammates James Harden and Ben Simmons.
Simmons and Harden were among the multiple NBA player Howard facetiously recruited in a new viral video.
“Jordan Poole, come on! Julius Randle, come on!” Howard said. “Ben Simmons, come on, man!… Klay, you can slide down here too, my boy. Deandre Ayton, you and (Chris Paul) come on. (Kevin Durant)? Come on, KD!”
Howard referenced Houston’s possible reunion with the Houston Rockets before recruiting his former teammate.
“They talking about him going back to Houston, but I think this might be a better look. James Harden, come on down here too, boy!”
Howard played with Harden on the Rockets from 2013 to 2016 on the Rockets, then played with Simmons on the Sixers during the 2020-21 season. After playing what appears to be his final NBA season with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2021-22 season, Howard played professional basketball overseas this season.
There Was Tension Between Doc Rivers & James Harden
In an appearance on “The Anthony Gargano Show,” Shelburne reported that the pairing of Harden and Doc Rivers was a little tense, citing instances where Rivers tried to hold Harden accountable for his actions off the court.
“The Harden-Doc Rivers thing was never great,” Shelburne said. “There was a lot behind it. There was this team meeting I had heard about where Doc tried to say something about (Harden) going out on the road and how does that look, and how does that look to your teammates. If you’re going to do that, you’ve really got to show up in the game. There was a lot of trying to hold James accountable in certain ways.”
Shelburne added that on the court, Rivers and Harden were never a “great fit,” as well as adding that she did not know if Rivers’ firing from the Sixers was by request from Harden, who is expected to become a free agent this summer.
Rockets a ‘Very Real Possiblity’ For James Harden
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that the possibility that Harden reunites with the Rockets is very real.
“It was a real possibility back on Christmas, and it remains so now that the Sixers are in the offseason that we’re started to head toward July free agency. Houston’s a very real possibility for Philadelphia’s James Harden in free agency. They’ve got upwards of $60 million in cap space. They want to be much better next season,” Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s Get Up on May 15.
Wojnarowski added that even if they were to land Victor Wembayana, the Rockets would still pursue Harden regardless.
“There’s a comfort level in Houston for James Harden. He’s got family there. He’s very comfortable in that environment, and this is an organization where he knows ownership. He knows the front office, and I think regardless for the Rockets of whether or not they won the draft lottery, if they win the lottery tomorrow night here in Chicago, and they’re the ones who can draft Victor Wembayana, my sense is that would not necessarily change the Rockets’ intentions to pursue James Harden.”
The Rockets were awarded the no. 4 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. While Wembayana will likely not be an option, they still have a chance to draft a promising NBA player.