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#pounditThursday, June 24, 2021

Russell Westbrook responds to report about issues with James Harden

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook has reportedly decided he no longer wants to play for the Houston Rockets, and there are rumblings that James Harden has a lot to do with that. Westbrook insists at least part of that is not true.

Westbrook, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Thursday, responded to a report from Stephen A. Smith that claims he and Harden do not want to play with each other anymore. Westbrook wrote on Instagram that the report is “completely fabricated.”

Many were quick to point out that Chris Paul was traded to the to the Oklahoma City Thunder last year not long after reports surfaced that he was butting heads with Harden. Paul denied that there was a rift in an Instagram comment that was very similar to the one Westbrook made on Thursday. You can see what CP3 wrote here.

It’s not just Stephen A. Smith who thinks Westbrook no longer wants to play with Harden. Westbrook supposedly wants a trade so he can go back to having a role like the one he had in Oklahoma City, and he is not going to get that playing alongside Harden. It probably isn’t a coincidence that Harden wants to stay in Houston.

The way Harden wished Westbrook a happy birthday on Thursday also seemed to indicate things are fine between the two superstars.

So what could be happening? Assuming Westbrook and Harden actually do not want to play together anymore, that does not mean the issues between them are personal. They may simply feel that their games don’t mesh, which makes sense considering how ball-dominant they both are.

NBA stars typically get their way when they decide they want a trade. However, trading Westbrook may prove to be difficult for Houston.

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