The Houston Rockets are officially a mess.
On Wednesday night The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Russell Westbrook had requested a trade out of Houston because he felt uneasy with the team’s “culture”.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 12, 2020
Russell Westbrook has made it known that he would like to see significant changes to the Rockets’ culture.
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) November 12, 2020
According to The Athletic’s report, Westbrook is frustrated with the team’s lack of accountability especially from teammate James Harden.
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.”
A large chunk of the angst, however, stems from a lack of accountability, sources said. 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.
The Rockets apparently tried to assure Westbrook that the team’s new coach was going to change the culture in Houston but it doesn’t appear that Westbrook is going to change his mind.
As of now the Clippers and Knicks are the frontrunners to acquire Westbrook this offseason.