Thunder notebook: James Harden, Russell Westbrook looking forward to trash talk in Rookie-Sophomore game

By Mike Baldwin Modified: January 28, 2010 at 12:00 am •  Published: January 28, 2010
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Trash talking
James Harden, one of nine rookies selected for the Rookie-Sophomore Game Feb. 12 in Dallas, will be playing against Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook, one of nine second-year players selected.

"Talking trash, just having fun and competing, that’s what brings us closer (as a team),” Harden said, smiling. "(The rookies) will definitely win.”

It’s not a Joe Namath Super Bowl III-like upset prediction. But the sophomores have won seven consecutive games. Kevin Durant scored 46 points to lead the sophomores to a 122-116 win last year in Phoenix.

The sophomore roster includes: Derrick Rose (Chicago), Marc Gasol (Memphis), Brook Lopez (New Jersey), Michael Beasley (Miami), Kevin Love (Minnesota), O.J. Mayo (Memphis), Danilo Gallinari (New York), Eric Gordon (Clippers) and Westbrook.

"They don’t have a chance,” Westbrook said. "Look at our team and you make the prediction. They really don’t have any bigs.”

The rookies are guard heavy. Harden’s teammates include: Tyreke Evans (Sacramento), Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee), Stephon Curry (Golden State), Jonny Flynn (Minnesota), Omri Casspi (Sacramento), Taj Gibson (Chicago), Jonas Jerebko (Detroit), DeJuan Blair (San Antonio).

Tough night
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said after the game the Bulls were the better team Wednesday night, insinuating he was disappointed with his team’s energy and overall effort for one of the few times in recent weeks.