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Rockets’ star trio say feud is now over

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The Houston Rockets' family feud - at least the public portion - is over.

The superstar trio of Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and Clyde Drexler put their personal feelings on display following Friday night's 86-85 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.But after a mid-court airing of differences at Sunday's practice, the first team gathering since Friday, everyone was smiling again and vowing to keep private disputes private.

"I think this could bring the team closer," said Olajuwon, who started the quarrel by complaining that he wasn't part of the game plan in the closing minutes. "Once in a while these things happen and then you can communicate better. This was nothing personal."

Olajuwon had only one shot in the closing minutes and Barkley got the call on the final shot, which he missed. Olajuwon complained that he should have gotten the ball, and Clyde Drexler agreed. Barkley called Olajuwon selfish.

"We win together. We lose together," Barkley said. "There can't be no baby out there."

By Sunday, the name-calling was gone.

"Dream apologized for going public and that started the meeting the way it should have went," Barkley said. "We all have the right to our opinions, but I think anytime anything happens on a team you keep it in the locker room.

"I don't think anyone is mad at each other. Dream just let some of his frustrations out."

The Rockets (3-2) do not play again until Wednesday.

Drexler said Friday's outburst could be viewed as a good thing.

"When I see guys arguing over wins and losses, I like that," Drexler said. "It means they care, that they are competitors. I don't think anybody on this team doesn't get along. That's the funny part. There's nobody on this team that wouldn't go out to dinner together."

It sure didn't seem that way on Friday.

Coach Rudy Tomjanovich said Portland was double-teaming Olajuwon, so he went to Barkley in the final minutes.

"I dealt with it the best I could," Tomjanovich said. "We're moving on. We have challenges ahead of us and dwelling on this won't help us at all."

He added that Sunday's meeting should have cleared the air.

"I felt very good about it," Tomjanovich said. "We just stood out there on the court and expressed our feelings. It was done in a professional way and I feel very positive about it."

The rest of the team appeared to feel the same way.

"I love being a part of this team," Kevin Willis said. "We have guys on this team who like to be around each other. When these things come up, we come together and discuss it and go from there."