Kobe Bryant Predicted James Harden, Rockets Would Fail (Video)

Kobe Bryant Predicted James Harden, Rockets Would Fail (Video)

Kobe Bryant predicted James Harden and the Houston Rockets’ inevitable failure before anyone else.

During a 2019 interview on ESPN, Bryant observed that although the Rockets were fun to watch, their style of play was not conducive to winning a championship.

“I’m not a fan of in terms of winning championships, I don’t think that style is ever going to win championships,” he said.

“But at the same time you have to keep your team’s head above water to win games, so you have to do what you have to do to win games. And he’s doing that.”

Rachel Nichols immediately followed up.

“So are you saying you don’t think James Harden and the Rockets, as constructed, can win a title?” she asked.

“Not with this style of play, it won’t win,” Bryant answered. “With one player dominating the ball.”

Despite the critique, Bryant was quick to point out that individually Harden was an amazing player.

“What he’s doing is absolutely remarkable though,” he continued.

“It’s a testament to how remarkable it is because people are now trying to minimize what it is that he’s doing. He’s doing some phenomenal stuff.”

Just as Bryant predicted, the Rockets ultimately disappointed against the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs.

Harden was a non-factor in Game 4, scoring 21 points — mostly from the free throw line — after going 2 of 11 from the field.

In the fourth quarter, he did not attempt a single field goal.

One big reason for 31-year-old’s failures was the Lakers’ defense knowing exactly how to play him. On 17 occasions when the Rockets attempted the pick-and-roll, LA trapped Harden. On those possessions, Houston averaged .714 points per possession. Usually, the team averages 1.13 points per possession. That is a big drop.

After a Game 1 in which he scored 36 points and led Houston to a surprising 112-97 upset win, Harden was largely irrelevant in the outcome of the remaining outings.

This was supposed to be the postseason where Harden would shed his Clayton Kershaw reputation and actually deliver when it mattered most. Instead, he simply cemented it once and for all.

After the game, then-Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni admitted that his team looked lost.

“Just a lack of spirit,” he said.

“It just seems like we got down. We lost our way a little bit.”

Harden, specifically, was asked after the game how exactly his team could have come out so flat, with so much on the line.

“That’s a good question,” he replied, without further elaborating.

Russell Westbrook was similarly stumped when pressed on his team’s lackadaisical showing.

“I don’t have an explanation for you,” he replied.

Harden had a chance to rewrite history in this postseason. He had the opportunity to prove Bryant and all the other critics wrong. The Lakers are hardly a perfect team – there were definitely flaws there waiting to be exposed.

Harden just isn’t capable of that, and the Rockets aren’t the team to do it.

They are not built to win a championship.

Mamba knew, and he was right all along.

Related: Warriors Star Steph Curry Offers Special Gift To Kamala Harris (Photos)

Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.

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