James Harden and Dwight Howard can deny it all they want but they weren’t big fans of each other in Houston. It started off promising when Howard came to the Rockets from the Lakers but it didn’t take long to see it wasn’t a match made in heaven. All they got out of their time together was some mediocre basketball and a few playoff runs that really never had a chance from the start. As they prepare to face off as opponents this week with Howard in Atlanta with the Hawks now, Harden is still shooting down any talk that there was ever a beef.


As last season came to an end, the rumors and reports grew louder. There were stories of Howard being passive-aggressive, telling teammates things were fine but then going behind their backs and complaining to the GM about the offense and how he needed more touches. There were also reports that Harden went behind Howard’s back and tried to get the team to play Clint Capela more at the position instead of Howard.

Whatever the problem was, the fact that there was one was pretty clear. Don’t tell Harden that though.

“Yeah we’re cool,” Harden said Thursday as they prepare for the game on Saturday.

When asked about the perception that the two players had friction, Harden said, “It didn’t bother me. I know what the truth is, it’s no beef. We never got into a heated argument. It just didn’t work out.”

When pressed as to why it didn’t work out, “Trust me, if we knew, it would have worked out,” he said.

At the start of the season, several players, including Harden, said there was a different vibe to the team. It was perceived that things are calmer, drama-free without Howard.

“Vibe means we have different players and make them feel as comfortable as possible. That’s what I meant by different vibe,” Harden said. “That’s one of the reasons why we had training camp twice in the summer so they can get comfortable quick and then when we came to training camp at the beginning of the season, guys will be playing a lot better. That’s the reason for that.”