After suffering another massive defeat from the hands of the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Playoffs, the Houston Rockets decided to make a huge roster overhaul this summer. A year after giving him a massive contract extension, the Rockets traded Chris Paul, together with multiple first-round picks, to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for James Harden’s former teammate, Russell Westbrook. Acquiring a younger, MVP-caliber point guard like Westbrook will undeniably help the Rockets maximize Harden’s championship window.
Unfortunately, though they already played together in Oklahoma City, there remains a huge question if two ball-dominant superstars like James Harden and Russell Westbrook can coexist. In an interview with Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, Harden admitted that he and Westbrook will be needing to make some adjustments with their game in order to fit in the Rockets’ backcourt. Harden also said that he’s expecting both of them to experience “a lot of ups and downs” in the 2019-20 NBA season.
However, compared to the last two years he played alongside Chris Paul, Harden claimed that he’s “more excited” to compete in the playoffs now that he’s reunited with Westbrook.
“But I’m more excited to go into war, postseason, with somebody that is, like, a dog,” Harden said. “Somebody that’s a killer, for real.”
Harden and Westbrook may be considered as two of the best active players in the league right now, but both of them have yet to win their first NBA championship titles. At the age of 30, Harden admitted that there are still plenty of things that he hasn’t accomplished, including winning “multiple championships” and being considered as one of the best shooting guards in NBA history.
“I still haven’t accomplished half of what I want to accomplish,” Harden said. “Like, multiple championships. I want to be one of those basketball players that you won’t forget. And obviously, we all remember the Kobes and the Jordans and the D-Wades and all those guys. I want to be in that same conversation, obviously, in championships and all that good stuff, and best shooting guards to ever play the game.”
With his outstanding performance on the offensive end of the floor, Harden is definitely not far from the level of legendary shooting guards like Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Dwyane Wade. However, there is one thing that is preventing him from officially joining that elite company — an NBA championship title. With the emergence of numerous powerhouse teams in the league, Harden is aware that becoming an NBA champion won’t be an easy task.
However, Harden said that he continues to remain patient and do everything he can to be a great leader and teammate. With plenty of time before the 2019-20 NBA season, the Rockets continue to find ways to improve their current roster. They have recently expressed interest in acquiring Andre Iguodala but, according to a previous The Inquisitr article, the Memphis Grizzlies are refusing to buy out the veteran small forward’s contract.