Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta didn't mince words after watching his team fail to hold down their home floor Friday in a Game 6 loss to the Golden State Warriors that bounced them from the postseason.
"They came to our home court and they kicked our ass and that's just the way it is. They outscored us by 10 points in the fourth quarter. They won. They're the champions, and we lost," Fertitta said, according to Fox 26 Houston's Marc Berman.
"Hell yes it's more painful," he said when asked if the loss hurt more because it happened at Toyota Center. "This was not fun. I guarantee you James (Harden) and Chris (Paul) and our team is very upset right now. They kicked our ass on our homecourt. They beat us by 10 points in the fourth quarter. It's unacceptable. We just have to be better. I know that we're going to rise to the occasion and our time is going to come."
Kevin Durant wasn't in uniform for the two-time reigning champion Warriors due to a strained right calf he suffered in Game 5. DeMarcus Cousins was still sidelined with a torn left quad, and two-time Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry didn't register a point in the first half before lighting up Houston over the final two quarters for 33 points.
Despite the demoralizing loss, Fertitta insisted that we haven't seen the last of Harden and the Rockets in the championship picture.
"James is 30 years old. Michael (Jordan) didn't win his first championship until 30. Hakeem (Olajuwon) didn't win his first championship until 30," he added. "I can promise you we're going to win some championships with James Harden. We're not going to sit here, we will go to battle every year, we're going to have a strong offseason, and we're going to do whatever we can do to be a better team. We're not going to sit on our hands, we can promise you that."
For clarification, Jordan was actually 28 when he won his first NBA title with the Chicago Bulls in 1991. However, he was 35 when he secured his sixth Larry O'Brien in 1998, so Fertitta's point about Harden having plenty of time to win championships still stands.