The Rockets and Thunder met for the first time this season on Monday night in Houston, making for the first time Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul got to see their former teammates since the blockbuster trade that swapped the star point guards this summer.
Houston edged OKC for the win, as Westbrook had 21 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists in the 116-112 victory. After the game it was all love between Russ and his old squad, as he dapped up just about everyone on the bench after the game, from players to coaches to equipment guys. Afterwards, he wanted a little extended time with his old friends so he popped into the visitor’s locker room.
Chris Paul, upon seeing this, had flashbacks to the last time he was involved in a similar situation, the now infamous secret tunnel incident involving the Rockets and Clippers at Staples Center. Paul joked that Westbrook needed to leave because the Clippers tried to get him suspended for that.
Russell Westbrook enters the Thunder locker room and teammates joke he entered the wrong locker room. Chris Paul joked: “The Clippers tried to suspend me for this.” Paul joked, “Come on man, you gotta get out of here.”
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 29, 2019
It’s a funny moment and a bit strange that it comes out of what has so long been a heated division rivalry. If anything, the trade sending Westbrook to Houston has someone cooled things between the teams because of how amicably the split was and how much love Westbrook still has for the Thunder franchise and Oklahoma City as a whole.