James Harden and Russell Westbrook's Relationship Goes Back Even Further Than You Realized

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 21: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives around James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets for two points  during the second half of Game Three in the 2017 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Quarterfinals  on April 21, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Oklahoma City defeated Houston 115-113   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Three | J Pat Carter/Getty Images

For better or worse, Russell Westbrook and James Harden are together on the cap-strapped Houston Rockets for the foreseeable future following the Oklahoma City Thunder's blockbuster trade.

Despite playing for rival franchises, Harden and Westbrook remain friends off the court stemming not only from their days together in OKC, but their formative years in South Central Los Angeles. The pair used to play basketball together at the same Boys & Girls Club.

While BFFs Harden and Westbrook reuniting after the former was sent to Houston in 2012 is a great story, the fit from a basketball perspective in Daryl Morey and Mike D'Antoni's run-and-shoot offense is questionable.

In Westbrook and Harden, the Rockets have the two most ball-dominating players in the league. I don't know if you know this, but there is only one ball.

One of them is going to have to take a step back to accommodate the other, and no amount of friendship will make that easy.

Harden was effectively a one-man show in Houston last year, and while Westbrook was paired up with Paul George, that tandem still enabled Russ to maintain his ball-dominant tendencies. It's hard to envision either party wanting to slide into a more off-ball role.

As the NBA's adoption of the buddy system continues, Westbrook and Harden in Houston will be great off of the court, but the fit on the court is as incongruous as it gets.