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Harden Calls Reports Of Tension With Paul "False Talk"

James Harden praised former teammate Chris Paul Saturday

July 21, 2019 - 12:31 am

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- Rockets guard James Harden denied reports that his relationship with former Rockets guard Chris Paul was strained last season.

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"It was a lot of false talk," Harden said Saturday from his basketball camp at the MI3 Center in North Houston. "Obviously, as teammates, as competitors, you have your disagreements, your arguments on the court, but that’s just part of basketball. I think everybody has that, no matter what level of basketball you’re in, but all the negative media stuff, and all that stuff that was runnin’, it wasn’t true. Me and Chris had constant communication, and we’re good."

In the aftermath of the Rockets loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals reports of tension between the two stars seemingly emerged daily. Two weeks after the Rockets season ended the Athletic reported there was an altercation between the two after game six. Soon after, ESPN filed a report saying the two weren't getting along during the postseason, and then last month, Yahoo! reported the relationship between both players was "unsalvageable" and that Paul had demanded a trade. Both Paul and Rockets general manager Daryl quickly denied that happened.

"It’s pretty funny how guys can speculate or just make up false stories on the tv and then you got millions of people believing it," Harden said. "That’s where guys have to make sure their facts are true before they run stuff in the media or on national television. For me personally, and I’m sure for Chris as well, we didn’t pay any attention to it."

Despite the denials from both players and Morey, the Rockets traded Paul to Oklahoma City July 15 for 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook, but Harden says the trade had nothing to do with the relationship between him and Paul, and praised his former teammate.

"Chris has been unbelievable these last two years. He’s helped me as a leader, as a mentor, all that. I guess it’s life, it’s the business how things don’t work out. He’s a great dude, I have nothing negative to say about him. He’s a beast."