Russell Westbrook has requested to be traded away from the Houston Rockets after chemistry issues with teammates.
The Houston Rockets had yet another underwhelming season. After losing to the Warriors in the 2nd round in 2019, they were bounced out of the 2020 Playoffs by the Lakers in 5 games.
The Westbrook-Harden tandem was doubted since the 2019-20 season started. The spacing and the chemistry was always an issue for the Rockets and it showed with their continuous failures throughout the season.
Now, according to Shams Charania, Westbrook has requested a trade away from the Houston Rockets after just one year with the team.
Loss to Blazers forced Russell Westbrook to hold James Harden and co. accountable
The Houston Rockets offense was designed around getting Russell Westbrook open shots from within the arc. Even with an offense dedicated toward Russell, he couldn’t get over the playoff hump.
It is being reported that multiple incidents throughout the season led up to Russ wanting out. One was when the Houston Rockets faced off against the Portland Trailblazers.
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“During the January locker room meeting following a home loss to Portland, Westbrook, who was leading the meeting, went around the room indicating what was wrong and what each player needed to do to fix the losing streak, starting with himself, sources said. When it came to Harden, however, he wasn’t as receptive to criticism as other teammates” the Athletic report said.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 12, 2020
The Rockets were trailing for almost the entirety of the game and eventually lost. When Brodie tried to sit his teammates down and hash out what the team could’ve done better, his teammates ignored his calls to action.
They didn’t seem too interested in listening to the 2017 MVP pander on about what the team could’ve done better.
What other events led to Russ requesting a trade?
Russ and Harden are great friends off the court but it is no surprise that on the court, they do not mesh well with one another. With playing styles that do not compliment each other, this experiment by the Rockets was doomed from the start.
Russell Westbrook is also being quoted as saying he does not want to end up in a scenario similar to what he had in Houston. He is basically implying that he does not want to be a second option on a team, and wants to be the focal point of the offense.