James Harden and Chris Paul's partnership in Houston may not have worked out on the basketball court, but 'The Beard' says reports of a fractured relationship between the pair is nothing more than 'false talk.'
"There was a lot of false talk. Obviously as teammates, as competitors, we argued on the court," Harden said at his annual basketball camp, according to the Houston Chronicle's Brian T. Smith."... That's just part of basketball, everybody has that, no matter what level of basketball you're in.
"The negative media stuff, it wasn't true. Me and Chris had constant communication and we're good."
Harden said he is "good" with Chris Paul.- Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) July 20, 2019
"Obviously as teammates, as competitors, we argued on the court. ... The negative media stuff, it wasn't true. ... Me and Chris had constant communication." #Rockets #Thunder #NBA pic.twitter.com/UvkyRpKFbt
Harden and Paul were teammates for two seasons in Houston, winning a franchise-record 65 games in 2017-18 to finish first in the Western Conference, before a 53-win campaign in 2018-19 saw them finish fourth in the West.
On both occasions, the Rockets ran into the Golden State Warriors, who ended their post-season runs.
Following their second-round exit last season, reports emerged that the pair had multiple disagreements on court, however Harden downplayed any perceived friction, praising Paul's individual impact on himself.
"Chris has been unbelievable these last two years," Harden added. "He's helped me as a leader, as a mentor, just all that good stuff."
Paul appeared in 58 regular-season games for the Houston Rockets last season, averaging a career-low in scoring with 15.6 points per game on 41 percent shooting from the field and 35.8 percent from three, adding 8.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and two steals.