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Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni claims he ‘always hated’ playing against Thunder, Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook, Mike D'Antoni, Rockets, Thunder

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni is thrilled that he will have one-less headache starting next season. D’Antoni is glad that the Rockets now have Russell Westbrook, saying that the explosive point guard gave him a lot to think of in the past several seasons. The veteran coach admitted that he hated going to Oklahoma City because of the former Thunder franchise player.

“We always hated to go to Oklahoma City and play against him,” D’Antoni said via Mark Berman of Fox 26. “I’m glad we have him here. It should be very exciting and we’ll probably have the best red carpet leading up to the games in the NBA for sure, between PJ and him and James.”

The Rockets acquired Westbrook in a trade with the Thunder earlier this month. Houston sent veteran point guard Chris Paul to Oklahoma City along with a 2024 and a 2026 first-round pick. The Thunder also earned the rights to swap picks with the Rockets in 2021 and 2025.

Westbrook will be reunited with former OKC teammate James Harden. The 30-year-old is coming off another strong season, where he averaged 22.9 points on top of 11.1 rebounds and 10.7 assists. It was the third straight season where the former NBA Most Valuable Player averaged triple-double in a season.