According to reliable sources, Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook wants out of Houston after only one season.
Westbrook, together with James Harden, formed a formidable backcourt for the Rockets in the 2019-2020 NBA season. However, Houston was eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers in a 4-1 series in the second round of the playoffs.
In the James Harden era, the Rockets have made it to the playoffs for eight consecutive years. It was thought that the arrival of Westbrook to the team would thrust Houston to its first NBA title since 1995. The two started their professional careers for the Oklahoma City Thunder and their reunion generated a great deal of excitement for Houston fans.
In a season cut short by COVID-19, Westbrook tallied 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. During the playoffs in the NBA bubble in Orlando, his averages slipped to 17.9 points, 7 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game as he struggled with strained quadriceps.
Westbrook VS Harden
League insiders report that both Westbrook and Harden have “expressed concern about the direction of the franchise.” Westbrook is said to be particularly concerned about the ballclub’s system and culture of accountability. He has purportedly spoken to team officials regarding these organizational problems. Sources within the franchise said that Westbrook and Harden have had tense verbal spats which further suggest that internal strife within the team is worse than was previously thought.
On September 13, former head coach Mike D’Antoni exited the team after its playoff loss to the Lakers. General manager Daryl Morey resigned from his position one month later. Additional personnel movements within the Rockets organization are expected in the coming weeks.
It’s still unclear which team Westbrook will end up with. After 12 years in the league, the 32-year-old point guard won’t be an ideal player to build a team around. On the other hand, Harden is said to remain dedicated to the Rockets’ cause and is “locked in” for the 2020-2021 season.
(Rockets Guard Russell Westbrook)