Report: Russell Westbrook was 'appalled' by Rockets' laid-back culture, which led to wanting out

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Ethan Cadeaux
·1 min read
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Report: Westbrook was 'appalled' by Rockets' laid-back culture originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

For Russell Westbrook, one season playing alongside James Harden, his childhood friend and former Oklahoma City teammate, was enough.

During his lone season in Houston, Westbrook grew "appalled" by the Rockets' laid-back culture, a strong contrast to what he was familiar with in Oklahoma City, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

Something that stood out to the new Wizards point guard was Harden's tardiness, whether it was arriving for practice, the plane, or even a film session.

During a film session in the Orlando bubble, according to MacMahon, Westbrook became frustrated when Harden arrived late. Westbrook asked then-head coach Mike D'Antoni to begin without the Rockets star, but D'Antoni refused, saying they would have to start over again when Harden arrived.

In Houston, Westbrook also was unable to play his style of basketball, due to the high frequency of isolations called for Harden. According to MacMahon, Harden also refused to engage in the Rockets' offense when the ball wasn't in his hands, something that irritated Westbrook.

Despite the close relationship between Harden and Westbrook, the two never meshed the way the organization hoped, which led to both guards wanting out of Houston this offseason.

Westbrook, of course, was traded to Washington last month in exchange for John Wall and a protected first-round pick. Harden remains in Houston, and the organization is reportedly willing to "get uncomfortable" with their star this season, waiting to trade him for the right package or maybe not at all.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Portland
+140+3.5-
Houston
-167-3.5-