Doug Gottlieb: “Yesterday you were on The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker and you said that James Harden wants out of Houston because Tilman Fertitta is a Trumper?”
Ric Bucher: “This got skewed because the point I was making, or the reason I brought it up, was that it’s not so much that politics are driving Harden and Westbrook out, but that Fertitta’s political leanings – like there’s a number of guys with the Rockets that are aware of them, and don’t like him [Fertitta], or being in Houston because of this. Is it ‘THE’ driving factor? I highly doubt that. Is it ‘A’ factor is the dissatisfaction? That is what I’m told. Is it’s one of the things that they do not like… I brought it up simply because I was hearing that not only was that an issue with Harden and Westbrook looking a little sideways with Fertitta, but that there are some other guys there that are troubled by the same thing. Tilman doesn’t seem to be a very popular guy among the Rockets collectively.” (Full Segment Above)
Listen to Ric Bucher join The Doug Gottlieb Show to explain why he believes Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta’s past support of President Donald Trump has played a part in multiple players wanting to be traded, and the team potentially being dismantled this offseason, as Bucher tells Gottlieb that Fertitta’s history of substantial financial contributions towards Republican candidates has always rubbed Rockets players the wrong way.
Bucher said on The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker on Monday that the Fertitta’s politics were leading to a ‘revolt’ among Rockets players wanting out, but Bucher clarified his comments on Tuesday saying it was ‘one of’ the factors.
Here were Bucher’s comments from Monday:
“I immediately thought this was Daryl Morey leaving, and Mike D’Antoni leaving, and Russell Westbrook and James Harden going ‘no offense to Stephen Silas or Rafael Stone, but we don’t want a starter kit, we’re playing for a championship.' No matter how much you regard Stephen Silas or Stone, these guys are brand new at the job, and what’s our expectation that they’re going to be able to make the moves necessary for us to leapfrog the Lakers. 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.”
Check out the full segment from The Doug Gottlieb Show above, as well as Monday's viral soundbite from The Odd Couple Below below.