James Harden congratulated Russell Westbrook on his 32nd birthday, a couple of hours after he requested a trade from the Houston Rockets. Things didn't work well for the Rockets last season, although they teamed up long-time friends and former teammates. The Rockets had good moments during the regular season but once the NBA bubble started, everything fell apart for them.
The small-ball lineup experiment failed, Westbrook looked lost and Harden's game wasn't enough to lift this team to compete for the title. Now Westbrook wants out of the team after reports suggest his relationship with the Beard wasn't the best and they had 'several tense exchanges' during the season.
Westbrook, sources say, has made it known for quite some time now that he would like to see significant changes to the Rockets’ culture. Specifically, his desire for more team-wide accountability, discipline and structure have been the focus of talks with team officials. Throughout the season, Westbrook was the consistent presence who kept Harden accountable and the two close friends had several verbal exchanges that sources described as “tense, but needed.”
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, sources said.
People were wondering if Harden was going to say something about Russ and his birthday and he did. He took to Instagram to post a picture of himself with Brodie, 'singing' a song and congratulating his good friend.
Harden returned to Instagram during election day to urge people to vote. Now he's more active on social media and his friend was the subject of his last post. Even though they are about to go separate ways, the friendship between these two won't be broken.