What was expected to be a dream season for the Houston Rockets turned out to be a complete nightmare for them. When they traded for Russell Westbrook the last offseason, most people thought that was a bad move. They showed a couple of good things on the court but the reality is that the experiment of Russell Westbrook and James Harden didn't work out for them.
Now both players want out of Houston and the team is working on a deal to get the most out of them. Several reports have suggested the relationship between Harden and Westbrook is different now after their failed stint. However, Westbrook made sure to dismiss those comments, stating that his relationship with Harden is as good as ever; they just don't want to play together. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith revealed a conversation he had with Brodie, where the latter explained this was just a basketball issue and nothing more (1:11 mark)
“I’m glad you brought up Russell Westbrook, he said on Monday's edition of Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin.
“Because he and I spoke the other day. And I just want to tell you, he emphasized: his relationship with James Harden – and he went on Twitter and expressed this as well – his relationship with James Harden, is tight. They don’t have a problem in terms of their brotherhood … their relationship.
“Him and James Harden are as tight as ever,” Smith continued. “They’re brothers, they always will be brothers. They’re tight.”
“There’s a difference between reports of not wanting to play with one, as opposed to them not being tight,” Smith concluded.
Harden recently congratulated Westbrook for his 32nd birthday, making it clear that there is no bad blood between them. They are friends and they showed that throughout the whole 2019/20 season. Teaming up simply didn't work and now it's time to move on for them. Harden is reportedly pushing for a move to the Brooklyn Nets and Westbrook isn't drawing much attention from teams around the league.
The Rockets have a lot of work to do this offseason and everything points out they will start rebuilding the upcoming campaign, where they initially wanted to compete for the title again.