James Harden insists there is no bad blood between him and Chris Paul.
The Rockets star was rumored to have had enough with Paul following hs team’s second-round playoff exit at the hands of the Warriors in May. Some reports stated Harden wouldn’t answer Paul’s phone calls after last season and claimed the duo’s relationship was “unsalvageable.” But Harden told reporters Saturday the speculation wasn’t true.
Harden said he is “good” with Chris Paul.
“Obviously as teammates, as competitors, we argued on the court. … The negative media stuff, it wasn’t true. … Me and Chris had constant communication.” #Rockets #Thunder #NBA pic.twitter.com/UvkyRpKFbt
— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) July 20, 2019
“It was a lot of false talk,” Harden said. “Obviously as teammates, as competitors we argue on the court. You have your disagreements on the court. Your arguments on the court. But that’s just part of basketball. Everybody has that. No matter what level of basketball you’re in.”
“All the negative media stuff and all the stuff that was running, it wasn’t true. Me and Chris had constant communication and you know, we’re good.”
Although Harden and Paul were supposedly on good terms, the Rockets dealt Paul to the Thunder to acquire Russell Westbrook, giving Houston arguably the best backcourt in basketball.
Harden led the league in scoring with 36.1 points per game while Westbrook averaged a triple-double for a third straight year in 2018-19. The two played alongside each other in Oklahoma City from 2009-12, before Harden was traded. Both have become league MVPs since then.
Paul is out of the picture in Houston, but Harden is ready for the Rockets’ new look.
“I’m excited for this opportunity,” Harden said. “It’s a new chapter, but I know he’s (Westbrook) excited.”