During an appearance on FS1’s “First Things First” Tuesday, Morey talked about Westbrook’s game with the Rockets and jokingly admitted he hated Russ when the guard was with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“When [Westbrook] was in OKC, I hated him. I’ll be frank,” Morey said. “He played with such a passion, and he would win games with his energy alone. Here it’s the same thing.”
Daryl Morey on Westbrook shooting less 3s: "He's smart. He sees the floor open. We don't have a lot of conversations with Russ on how he should play because he's a guy who plays with passion and energy and you can't not love it. When he was in OKC, I hated him. I'll be frank." pic.twitter.com/yRnbwAxLFE
— Salman Ali (@SalmanAliNBA) March 3, 2020
The answer from Morey came in the context of a bigger question about Westbrook not shooting as many 3-pointers over the past two months as he did early in the season with Houston, and as he had been doing with the Thunder. Morey says there is no directive from the team telling Westbrook how to play. Instead, he believes Westbrook is just seeing lots of open players and therefore opting to pass more.
Another reason for the previous dislike from Morey towards Westbrook? It probably had to do with Rockets star James Harden competing with Westbrook for NBA MVP in 2017. Morey was backing Harden all the way and felt the voting was wrong.