James Harden wants everybody to know that Russell Westbrook is ‘dope’ off the court
Say the name Russell Westbrook in a name-association game and words like athletic, rampaging, all-out, and intense are soon to pop out of everyone’s mouths. Upon coming to the Houston Rockets, James Harden wanted the city he now calls home to see another side of his new partner in crime.
It was a wet day in August, as The Beard prepared to wrap up JH-Town, a tradition started by Harden and his inner circle in hopes to give back to the community that has supported him for nearly 10 years. He had used Friday as the perfect stage to bring out Westbrook during the charity concert at Revention Music Center, along with some close friends in the rap game, several which are household names: Meek Mill, Travis Scott, and YG.
It wasn’t long before Meek Mill paused his set to speak of the bombastic trade that sent Westbrook to H-Town, an opportunity Harden used to get Westbrook on stage and soon had him dancing and laughing, singing along to some of the rapper’s greatest hits.
“Yea it was good for him,” the Rockets guard told Kelly Iko of The Athletic. ” He had a really good time. He’s comfortable wherever he is, so that’s not a problem. I just wanted to bring his personality out a little bit. Everybody sees Russ as the angry guy on the court, the guy that plays his heart out. But off the court, he’s dope. So it’s exciting and I want everyone to see that.”
Harden proved that Westbrook can be joyful and entertaining besides the game of basketball — a side not many had seen before. His reputation for awkward and short interviews are the only recent window to his off-the-court persona, but that concert — despite being behind the scenes — let Houston know there was something different brewing with this All-Star duo.