The Houston Rockets had a few seasons to make the James Harden–Chris Paul experiment work… and they couldn’t.
At the close of the 2019 season, when the Rockets were once again beaten by the Golden State Warriors, the team was blown up. Harden was reunited with Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul was sent to NBA purgatory –no, not the Knicks– but the Oklahoma City Thunder. Many believed that he’d eventually be bought out of his contract and be on a contender before the season began, but he’s still there.
And now we know that he and Harden might not have the best relationship since the trade because they’ve barely spoken since.
“He’s not going to hit me to tell my daughter Happy Birthday today,” Paul told TNT’s Chris Haynes about the relationship with his former teammate. We don’t talk, communicate, nothing like that.”
In June of 2019, it was reported by Yahoo’s Vincent Goodwill that the relationship was “unsalvagable,” and Paul no longer wanted to be in H-Town and told the front office either he or Harden had to leave.
But even in his new home, Paul has made the best of his situation. When the 2019 season started up, the Thunder was predicted by ESPN to have a .2% chance of making the playoffs, but now they’re sitting in the middle of the pack in the West with the 5th seed.
Despite Harden likely not wishing Paul’s daughter a Happy Birthday, Paul bears no ill will towards him.
“But that’s all good and well, I wish him the best,” Paul continued. “Sometimes you have teammates, and it’s for that period of time, and that’s okay. You can wish each other well going forward. … It doesn’t mean you have to be enemies.”
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