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Report: James Harden, Russell Westbrook had several verbal exchanges

Rockets, Russell Westbrook, James Harden

During the 2019-20 season, Houston Rockets stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook had several verbal exchanges, per The Athletic.

Westbrook was the only player on the Rockets who kept Harden accountable. This report came amid Westbrook reportedly expressing his desire to get traded.

Westbrook, sources say, has made it known for quite some time now that he would like to see significant changes to the Rockets’ culture. Specifically, his desire for more team-wide accountability, discipline and structure have been the focus of talks with team officials. Throughout the season, Westbrook was the consistent presence who kept Harden accountable and the two close friends had several verbal exchanges that sources described as “tense, but needed.”

James Harden had issues with Dwight Howard and Chris Paul on the Rockets as well. While it appears The Beard and Russell Westbrook are still on good terms, the fact that Russ wants out of Houston after just one season is telling.

Since acquiring Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012, the Rockets haven’t advanced to the NBA Finals. They have gotten to the Western Conference Finals two times, losing to the Golden State Warriors on both occasions.

Harden, the 2018 MVP, has led the NBA in scoring the past three seasons. However, at some point, he needs to win a title if he wants to be in the same class as Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, two of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history.

Moving forward, all eyes are going to be on the Rockets to see what the franchise does with Westbrook following his trade request.