The fallout from the 2020 election continues to be felt across the NBA.
But now it’s affecting the competitive balance of the league.
And this NBA team fell apart over their owner’s support for Donald Trump.
For the last several seasons, the Houston Rockets built a championship contender around star guard James Harden.
But every year, the Rockets would fall short as the league’s elite – the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers – vanquished them in the playoffs.
The team fired coach Mike D’Antoni and trade rumors swirled around Harden and his running mate, all star guard Russell Westbrook.
Most NBA media figured the Rockets reached the end of the road with the 31-year-old Harden and wanted to recoup the draft assets they gave up to acquire Westbrook and begin the painful process of rebuilding.
But NBA reporter Ric Bucher revealed the reason Harden and Westbrook want out of Houston is because Rockets owner Tilman Ferititta donates to Republican causes and supports President Trump.
“But 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. 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,” Bucher reported.
The NBA’s ratings took a sharp dive after it returned from the coronavirus hiatus because the league turned into a political sideshow.
Ratings for the NBA finals were the lowest in history.
Now, if NBA players are going to boycott teams and demand trades based on the owner’s political beliefs, it will only reinforce the image among fans that the league is a pro-Democrat Party political action committee.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.