Kevin McHale remembers Harden's awful defense: 'James is not a leader'


Kevin McHale remembers Harden's awful defense: 'James is not a leader'

Kevin McHale coached the Rockets for four plus seasons.

On a recent episode of Open Court on NBATV, he was asked where the addition of Chris Paul puts Houston in the Western Conference.

"I think it makes them a much better team because you had James Harden with the ball -- fantastic with the ball -- great passer, the guy's got phenomenal vision. James can see all the passes and do everything. But James is not a leader," McHale declared. "He tried being a leader last year, tried doing that stuff. 

"I think Chris Paul is gonna help him just kind of being able to hoop and play stuff like that. But on every team you have to have a voice. On every team you have to have somebody that when they say something, people listen.

"Look, if James tells you ‘Chuck (Barkley), you got to play better D.' Are you listening to him? You gotta be kidding me. I lived through it, believe me. Everybody in the locker room did this (put hand on head and look down)."

For years, Harden has been perceived as a guy who only plays one end of the floor.

Routinely, clips of his defense -- or lack thereof -- would circulate on social media.

Paul -- who has been named All-Defensive First Team six years in a row -- is now by Harden's side.

"I just think Chris Paul will be good for James Harden," McHale added. "It will allow him to just be what he is which is a phenomenal basketball player -- not trying to lead a team, that’s just not his personality."

The Warriors open the regular season against the Rockets on Oct. 17.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Klay Thompson makes his triumphant return to China

Klay Thompson makes his triumphant return to China

The sequel is rarely as good as its predecessor, but convention goes out the window when China Klay is involved.

That's right, Klay Thompson is back in China this summer. He made his first stop in Beijing on Saturday, and will spend the next seven days in the country. Here's his itinerary:

June 23 -- Beijing
June 25 -- Jinan
June 26 -- Zhengzhou
June 27 -- Taiyuan
June 28 -- Guiyang
June 30 -- Guangzhou

How many shots will he air ball? Will he only eat smoky foods? Two countries await those answers with baited breath. 

During the draft, the Warriors tried to trade up to select Jacob Evans

During the draft, the Warriors tried to trade up to select Jacob Evans

With the 28th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Warriors selected Jacob Evans.

"When our pick was up, it was clear it was him," Bob Myers told reporters on Thursday night. "There was no debate as far as who we were taking. When it got to us, he was the guy without hesitation."

You could say that the Warriors are lucky to have ended up with Evans.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: What does the Jacob Evans selection mean for Pat McCaw?]

The front office nearly executed a trade to ensure they got the Cincinnati product.

"We had a number of guys who we were really interested in, but I think as the draft started to continue to go on, it became pretty apparent to us that a bunch of the other guys that we liked were not going to be there," assistant GM Kirk Lacob said on 95.7 The Game on Friday morning. "We actually at one point tried to trade up to get Jacob -- we were getting a little worried that he wasn't gonna get there -- but we were really happy that he ended up with us."

Golden State also tried to buy a pick early in the second round, but couldn't strike a deal.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller