James Harden has fired back at his former coach, Celtics legend Kevin McHale, after the bench boss questioned the Rockets guard's leadership ability. 

According to Bleacher Report, Harden called McHale a "clown" for saying that he's unable to be a leader on the floor, refusing to mince his words with reporters during a scrum following a recent practice session. The comments took place when McHale joined an NBA TV panel for a discussion, the conversation eventually turning to the Houston star. After praising the man's abilities as a player - one who is able to dominate night in and night out - McHale then turned the screws by saying that Harden is someone who is unable to lead effectively. "James can see all the passes and do everything, but James is not a leader," he explained, via ESPN.com. "He tried being a leader last year, tried doing all that stuff. I think Chris Paul is going to help him just kind of get back into just being able to hoop and play and stuff like that."

The arrival of Paul in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers is a move geared towards a championship run for the Texas-based NBA outfit that has been knocking on the door of playoff success for the last few years now. Having the all-star caliber point guard in the fold will hopefully aid Harden and the strong nucleus of players on the Rockets to vault themselves past the Golden State Warriors and compete for a championship. For McHale's part, he served as Houston's head coach from the 2011-12 season through the first 11 games of the 2015-16 campaign. Harden arrived in Houston as part of a trade with the Oklhahoma City Thunder, another team that has since revamped their roster for a championship run, right before the 2012-13 season. In three seasons together, Harden and McHale led the Rockets to playoff appearances in all three years, with a trip to the Western Conference Finals coming in 2015, when they lost to the Dubs in five games.