Josh Smith claims an incident with James Harden in 2016 led to Kevin McHale’s firing

Kevin McHale James Harden
Photo: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Josh Smith believes an incident with James Harden back in 2016 led to the firing of then Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale.

McHale decided to keep Harden on the bench during Houston’s comeback against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference Semifinals.

The Rockets came back from a 19-point deficit and earned a key playoff victory, which most likely led to McHale leaving the team.

“James really not playing the best like we know he can, but it’s up to us to help him…So [McHale] made the sub. It was like me, Brewer, Trevor Ariza, Jason Terry, and Dwight…They benched James—that’s why he probably got fired. I honestly believe that,” Smith, the former Rockets forward, told the Uninterrupted.