James Harden‘s off-court lifestyle has been a topic of discussion for some time now, especially now when he is obviously out of shape. Nobody criticized him too hard because he still manages to put up great numbers no matter what condition. But it looks like it rubbed off his former teammate Russel Westbrook the wrong way.
Retired NBA player and ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins recently went on James Posey’s podcast “The Posecast” and revealed how Harden didn’t take last season serious enough, as he was partying quite a lot, which made a fierce competitor like Ruselll Westbrook leave after just one season with the Rockets:
“[If they had some days off], James was on a private [jet] to Cabo! On Tilman Fertitta’s private [jet] at that! Russ is like… ‘I ain’t with all the partying.'”Kendrick Perkins, via The Posecast
Even though they are very good friends off the court, their style of play and approach to the game are complete opposites, as Westbrook is just an athletic freak of nature that never stops working. In contrast, Harden’s game is more based on elegance and talent, using his skills to get the job done and not needing to be on a strict regimen to maintain his condition.
The duo created a lot of hype last year, as they were entertaining to watch, but it wasn’t enough to be a championship contender as they finished with a 44-28 record and got smoked by the Lakers in the second round.
All of this seems irrelevant now, as Westbrook is part of the Washington Wizards, while Harden just got his wish fulfilled and is part of the Brooklyn Nets Big 3 alongside Durant and Irving. Maybe the two former MVP-s could have made it work better if they got a second-year together, but apparently, it wasn’t meant to be.