CHRIS PAUL RETURNED
Why were things awkward in Houston Monday night?
Chris Paul was in Houston on Monday night to play his former team the Houston Rockets. Paul now plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder which is Russell Westbrook's old team. Things were real interesting to see how James Harden and Paul intervened with each other on the court.
This past summer, Paul was traded to OKC for the rights to Westbrook. Daryl Morey told reporters that they wanted to keep Paul in Houston. People were suspecting that Paul and Harden were not getting along. Last season, the Rockets lost to the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs. A source was told that Harden and Paul had a verbal altercation in the locker room. Players on the team denied that there was any tension between the two. Everybody also heard that Harden went to the front office and told them to choose between the two. Harden later on denied that he even went to the front office.
When the Thunder made Westbrook available, the Rockets wanted to figure out every way to get him here. Paul's contract was too huge to move at first but Morey found a way. Harden approved the trade because he wanted to play with his best friend again. Sadly, Paul's time in Houston was cut short after signing a four year extension. The question is should Paul feel betrayed by the trade? No, the fact is that Westbrook is better and younger than Paul. At the end of the day, the NBA is a business, so Paul understands. Even though the Thunder lost, Paul also told reporters after the game that Westbrook gives them an edge. He has watched all of the Rockets game this season.
The Rockets did honor Paul with a tribute video in Monday night's game. Is it because Houston feels bad for trading him? Probably not, but still wanted to show respect to Paul. He had a great first season with the Rockets minus the injuries. Paul was a reason why Houston made it seven games against the Warriors. It will always be a "what if" Paul played in game seven against the Warriors. That will always be a huge question in Houston. Harden and Paul both say that they still have love for each other. This Monday night said otherwise as we saw Harden do petty things to Paul. Neither did one of them speak to each other after the game. Paul spoke to everyone on the team after the game besides Harden. Paul mentioned to reporters that he still keeps in touch with PJ Tucker, Westbrook, and Gary Clark.
Hopefully Harden and Paul can one day tell the real story between them.