Rockets GM Comments On Tension Between James Harden and Chris Paul

NBA: Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers
February 21, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the first half at Staples Center. (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Despite racking an impressive 53-29 record last season in the highly contested Western Conference division, the relationship between Houston Rockets' duo of James Harden and Chris Paul has been marred by tension. Setting the record straight, Rockets GM Daryl Morey said that the tension between the two superstars is just normal as both of them are serious in their crusade to win.

 In an interview with ESPN Radio's Golic and Wingo, Morey said, "We have two high-level competitors, Chris, and James, who their only goal in life at this point is win the title. Two competitive superstars at that level, there's going to be times when they are extremely competitive, extremely focused on how do we get to that next level, and we don't there's going to be frustration."

While not really a headliner for the whole season, the tension between Harden and Paul had become visible in the court for a number of occasions. There are instances when one will blame the other for a miscalled play, and frustrations are pretty noticeable when the two are on the court. While their stats might not back this claim of tension between the two superstars, there are a number of locker room stories that further muddle the issue.

The fact that Paul had his worst season in terms of points-per-game speaks a lot about his relationship, not only with Harden but with the team in general. For this season, Paul posted 15.6 points-per-game, and another career low of 41.9 percent field-goal percentage per NBA.com.

Aggravating the point further is the rumor that Paul has asked the Rockets' front office for a trade. When asked about this rumor, GM Morey dismissed it, saying, "No. Chris Paul does not want to be traded."

What is interesting though was the latest blockbuster trade between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans. The trade sent superstar Anthony Davis to the Lakers. Together with LeBron James, the duo exhibits a formidable frontcourt that is sure to attract superstars looking for a viable option to win a championship ring. The trade rocked the entire NBA free agency scramble and has sent many teams to reassess their prospects.

As for Paul, he is heading into the second year of his contract with the Rockets. Paul signed a 4-year contract with the Rockets in 2018 worth $159 million. Should he decide to part with the Rockets, any team that will accommodate him will have to compensate quite a lot for his salary.

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