Westbrook reportedly believes he was Rockets’ scapegoat

Ex-Rockets guard Russell Westbrook calls out a play during a game against the Suns.

Newly acquired Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook believes he was made the “scapegoat” for the Houston Rockets’ playoff exit last season, according to a report from The Athletic.

The Rockets won their second-round series opener against the Los Angeles Lakers, but then lost four straight. The loss to the Lakers is what “sources believe is the real reason (James) Harden and Westbrook wanted to leave,” The Athletic reported.

Since then, Mike D’Antoni departed as coach, Daryl Morey left as general manager and Westbrook has been traded to the Wizards for point guard John Wall. Harden remains, but there had been talk he too wanted out of Houston.

There have been several reports that Harden preferred Wall over Westbrook when it comes to the fit as a backcourt partner. The Rockets themselves also seemed to question the Harden-Westbrook pairing after just one year.

But not all of those rumors are true.

“Harden and Westbrook simply couldn’t co-exist on the floor,” per The Athletic. “This isn’t a knock on their personal relationship, an aspect that has been misconstrued in recent weeks. Harden and Westbrook have a deep-rooted friendship that spans over decades.”

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of Amico Hoops. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for both Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and NBA.com.

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