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Chandler Parsons offended by James Harden’s cornerstone comments

Chandler Parsons RocketsIf the rivalry between the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks weren’t already strong enough, it just got even more interesting following Chandler Parsons signing with Dallas and the war of words that ensued.

First off, let’s start with Parsons, who says he was offended by Houston’s public search for a “third star” when he felt he was the guy who could complement Dwight Howard and James Harden. Then you have Howard, who said Parsons’ departure would not affect the team.

And the latest comes from Harden, who said he and Howard are the real key pieces for the Rockets, and that the rest of the pieces are more insignificant.

“Dwight (Howard) and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets,” Harden said in comments to The Philippine Star. “The rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We’ve lost some pieces and added some pieces. I think we’ll be fine next season.”

That comment from Harden was in reference to the team losing Parsons, Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin this offseason.

Lin was not offended by the comments.

“I agree (with Harden),” Lin said Thursday via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “He didn’t mean that in any derogatory way. He and Dwight are the cornerstones of the Rockets.”

Parsons, however, did not take the remarks well.

“That’s a pretty ridiculous statement, if he meant that,” Parsons said in an interview with Jay Mohr. “And that’s part of the reason why I wanted to go to Dallas. I’m ready for the next step, I’m ready for a bigger role and I’m ready for more leadership. If anybody should understand it should be James, because he was in same situation in Oklahoma City and then he got the chance to come to Houston and shine.”

Parsons does say he has a lot of respect for the Rockets and that there are no hard feelings. He also appreciates that the team let him out of his contract a year early to get that restricted free agent money.

Are Howard and Harden right about their comments? Obviously Houston didn’t feel Parsons was a necessity, otherwise they would have matched his contract. They were off pursuing bigger things like Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony. We’ll learn in time whether the Rockets made a mistake by letting Parsons go, but I think they made the correct choice. Dallas gave him too much money.

James Harden gets in argument with reporter, calls him ‘weirdo’

James HardenJames Harden is struggling, and that is one of the reasons the Houston Rockets have put themselves in an extremely vulnerable position as they head to Portland in an 0-2 series hole against the Trail Blazers. Harden was just 6 of 19 from the field in Game 2, finishing with 18 points and five turnovers. He scored 27 in Game 1 but still hit just 28.6% of his shots.

Harden has picked a terrible time to go ice cold, and a reporter reminded him of that on Wednesday night. He didn’t like when he was asked why he can’t seem to put the ball in the basket.

“It’s basketball – making shots,” Harden said before quickly moving to the next question, according to The Oregonian’s Mike Tokito.“I’m not worried about my offense. It’s basketball. You’re gonna miss shots. It’s basketball, like I said.”

After Harden had finished answering questions, he circled back around to the reporter who had apparently ticked him off. That reporter was NBA.com’s Frank Blinebury. Tokito described the uncomfortable exchange.

But when his media session in the Rockets opulent locker room ended, Harden went back at the reporter, asking if he had ever seen a player not play well before. The reporter answered that the struggle seemed unusual for Harden and was coming on a major stage, the playoffs.

The two went back and forth for a while, with Harden asking the reporter if he’d ever seen a basketball game before, then demanding to know whom the reporter was. The exchange got testy enough that team officials stepped in to usher Harden out.

As he left the room, Harden called the reporter “weirdo.”

In Blinebury’s defense, he was simply doing his job. Perhaps he should have focused his attention more on the fact that the Rockets can’t stop LaMarcus Aldridge (46 points in Game 1 and 43 points in Game 2), but Harden is supposed to be Houston’s best scorer. He was 3 of 14 from beyond the arc in Game 1. You can understand his frustration, but you can also understand why a reporter would ask about his struggles. Harden is one of the main reasons the Rockets are in a massive hole.

Was James Harden partying hard all weekend?

James HardenJames Harden has been a huge disappointment for the Houston Rockets in their first two Western Conference playoff games, both of which they lost at home to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Harden has gone 14-of-47 (29.7 percent) in the first two games including a 3-for-14 performance from 3-point range in Game 1.

Even though Houston is down 0-2, it’s not time to write off the Rockets yet. They’re dangerous and could very easily win two in Portland, especially if you figure that LaMarcus Aldridge will cool off and Harden might heat up. But is there a reason why Harden hasn’t been at his best the past two games?

Nate Fitch, best known as Johnny Manziel’s close friend and business manager, is well connected and tweeted this after Game 2:

We consider Fitch to be a reliable source otherwise we wouldn’t have felt comfortable posting this.

This isn’t the first time a player struggling in the playoffs was ascribed to their partying. Rihanna said last year that JR Smith was slumping for the Knicks in the postseason because he was hungover from partying at clubs all night. Smith of course denied the charge, but few people believed him.

Let’s just hope this isn’t the case for the Rockets’ sake. And let’s hope that Houston maintains good focus on the road where it’s even more tempting to go out and party, otherwise this could turn into a sweep.

James Harden has a cringe-worthy terrible defense lowlight video

James HardenFew will dispute that James Harden is one of the most explosive and talented offensive guards in the NBA, but we also acknowledge that he leaves a lot to be desired defensively. To cement that point, someone created a defensive lowlights video featuring some of Harden’s worst defensive moments from the season.

In nearly every clip, you see Harden just completely losing his man on defense, which allows the opponent to get an easy bucket. Either that, or he’s just making a casual defensive stop attempt. It’s like bro, put a little effort in on the defensive end. I mean even if it’s just for show.

Yikes. As great as Harden is on the offensive end, his defense is so bad it really keeps him from being a complete overall player.

Also see: Evolution of James Harden’s beard in pictures

H/T Next Impulse Sports

James Harden complains about money costing him friends, family

James-Harden-money

Think it’s all fun and games when you’re making $15 million a year? Well, it’s not. Just ask Houston Rockets star James Harden, who took to Instagram on Friday to share some emotional thoughts about money.

“Money is a powerful thing,” Harden wrote alongside the photo you see above. “Losing family and friends over it. I didn’t sign up for this.”

Most people don’t want to hear athletes complaining about money, but this is a real issue. Family and friends come crawling out of the woodwork looking for handouts, and some even alienate you because you refuse to give them money for no reason. Harden isn’t the only professional athlete who feels that way.

Evan Turner, James Harden get into it (Video)

Evan Turner and James Harden got up close and personal with each other during Friday night’s Indiana Pacers-Houston Rockets game over a bit of nonsense. Things only calmed down after the referees separated the two. It also helped when David West stepped in to make everyone back down.

The incident occurred in the third quarter with Houston up 73-50 on Indiana. Turner got a steal and was quickly fouled, which prevented him from having an easy transition basket. Still, Turner continued to head toward the basket anyway for fun, but Harden got in his way to keep him from putting in a layup.

That led to Turner pushing Harden, Harden stepping to Turner, and the two going nose-to-nose with each other. Double-technicals were handed out for the incident.

You think they were just talking about setting up belated Valentine’s Day plans?

Evan Turner James Harden

James Harden wears cowboy hat to game after attending rodeo

James Harden cowboy hat

Attending a Houston rodeo on Thursday got James Harden in a cowboy mood, because the Rockets guard showed up to his team’s game on Friday wearing that great cowboy outfit.

And if you think that picture is good, you’ll love this one, which is infinitely better:

Photo via Twitter/Rockets