Russell Westbrook’s breakup with James Harden not off to great start

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Life away from James Harden hasn’t included any wins yet for Russell Westbrook.

Westbrook’s Wizards are off to an 0-4 start after Tuesday night’s dispiriting 115-107 home loss to the woeful Bulls.

Westbrook forced his way out of Houston this offseason, amid frustrations with his role as Harden’s running mate and with how the team catered to Harden.

“When adversity hits, it’s a true measurement of who you are as a man,” Westbrook told reporters after the game. “To have a little adversity early on, that’s okay. Stick to your principles, stick to what you know, continue to lead and stay positive and that’s something that I’m going to continue to emphasize to our guys. It’s a long season and we’re going to figure it out.”

The Wizards were a trendy pick in the Eastern Conference after Westbrook was sent to the Wizards in exchange for John Wall and a first-round pick. Westbrook sat out the second game in back-to-back matchups with the Magic last week, but has recorded a triple-double in each of the three games he has played in.

The former MVP was seen looking dejected on the bench after the defeat to Chicago, then posted an inspirational quote on Instagram from Martin Luther King Jr.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy,” Westbrook wrote.

Harden and the Rockets are also winless, starting their season with losses to the Blazers and Nuggets after their opener was postponed because too many players were sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols.

Wall was one of those players and has yet to make his Houston debut after looking healthy in the preseason. Wall had not played in two years after undergoing heel surgery to remove bone spurs and subsequently rupturing his Achilles during a fall at home in January of 2019.

Harden also wants to be dealt away from the Rockets with the Nets and 76ers among possible trade destinations.

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