Former NBA Players Disclose the Real Reason James Harden and Russell Westbrook Want to Leave Houston

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November 17, 2020 4:30 pm

The NBA will look completely different before the start of the new season. The trade window is officially open and several marquee deals are complete or close to being completed. This week, the NBA Draft takes place and free agency will begin. There are a lot of rumors afloat right now. In the middle of the rumor-storm are the Houston Rockets. After reports emerged that James Harden and Russell Westbrook want to leave, the Rockets are in pandemonium.

Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson discussed several trade rumors and rumblings on their ‘All The Smoke’ podcast. On the subject of James Harden and Russell Westbrook wanting to leave Houston, Barnes reiterated that it has nothing to do with Stephen Silas being hired as the head coach. He said:

“It wasn’t the Steve Silas situation. They support Steve Silas. But we’ve been hearing that it was just the management and ownership not consulting with, especially James.”

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 20: Russell Westbrook (0) of the Houston Rockets and James Harden (13) celebrate a shift in momentum as Will Barton (5) and Gary Harris (14) of the Denver Nuggets walk back to the bench during the first quarter on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. (Photo by Aaron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Barnes also suggested that Houston was in the wrong for not consulting with their star player, Harden. He said, “James has been there, he put them on the map. Not consulting with your two stars on hiring the new GM… and it just kind of got messy. It sounds like James and Russ felt like they were left out of the mix.”

James Harden and Russell Westbrook not consulted by the Rockets


Stephen Jackson talked about how important consulting with your star player was, relating to his time with the San Antonio Spurs“I played almost four years in San Antonio. And every mode that was made, from starting line up to trades, Tim Duncan was involved. You have to include your star players because those are the guys you rely on the most,” Jackson said.

Jackson made sure to mention that the situation has little to do with the players’ relationship with new head coach Stephen Silas and said, “I have to reiterate this; it’s not because of Stephen Silas. We played with Stephen Silas, everybody loves Stephen Silas. Everybody is happy that he’s finally getting the opportunity he should’ve got.” 

Jackson did mention that it was strange that the Houston stars were not involved in the decision-making process, given other star players in franchises are heavily involved. “But James and Russ are not happy with not being part of the decision making. I guarantee you ‘Bron is a part of everything that is going on. Why not James?”

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