Smack / Jul 24, 2014 / 11:00 am

James Harden Says Every Teammate Besides Dwight Howard Is A Role Player

LaMarcus Aldridge, James Harden

LaMarcus Aldridge, James Harden (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

The Houston Rockets came into the off-season hoping to make a splash. Instead, they lost Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin in trades designed to open up cap room to acquire a max-level free agent, only to see their main target Chris Bosh return to Miami. On top of that bad luck, the Rockets turned down their option on Chandler Parsons, and he signed a near-max offer sheet with the Dallas Mavericks, which the Rockets failed to match. Despite all this, James Harden doesn’t appear too worried about his team moving forward

In an interview with Joaquin Henson of The Philippine Star, Harden commented on the impact of losing Parsons and other pieces on the roster:

Harden said he’s not worried that Jeremy Lin has left for the Los Angeles Lakers and Chandler Parsons for the Dallas Mavericks. “Dwight Howard and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets,” said Harden. “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.”

Harden’s comments are in line with what Dwight said earlier this week when he told ESPN the departure of Parsons would not affect the team at all.

In response, Parsons went on The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday and addressed Dwight’s comments, while praising Mark Cuban and the Mavs:

Parsons said Cuban’s passion about his team and the role he foresees him playing is what attracted him to Dallas.

“I think he’s the best owner in sports and just knowing the Mavericks won’t be bad as long as he owns the team was big for me,” said Parsons. “As a person he was great, one of the funniest dudes I’ve ever met in my life, and he’s very successful. But he basically told me and showed me how I’d fit in the Mavericks style, how I’m a priority for them, they view me as a franchise player and think I can do big things there. He believes in me.”

After Parsons left, former teammate Dwight Howard said his departure “won’t affect us at all.” Parsons said the comment didn’t bother him, but it was “ridiculous.”

“I know he didn’t mean it. He’s one of my closest friends,” said Parsons. “He’s got to be confident with the Rockets moving forward with or without me there, so I understand where he’s coming from. I think it’s a ridiculous statement, but at the end of the day, he has to stick up for the Rockets and I don’t think he meant it in a bad way and didn’t try to bash me at all.”

The first matchup between the Rockets and Mavs should be very interesting next season. It’s worth mentioning Parsons refused to castigate Dwight after his supposed friend — and the player who worked the hardest to bring Dwight to Houston when he was a free agent last summer — said his departure won’t affect the Rockets at all. That’s either a very good friend, or a player itching to throw it in Houston’s face when they face off in a Texas rumble next season. When the schedule comes out, you’re gonna wanna circle those dates.

What do you think?

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  • Henauder Titzhoff

    Separate yourself from your team mates? Are you crazy? And by the way, Ariza was a pivotal starter for a playoff team that went further than those two!

  • Speedz

    Harden talks the talk but cant walk the walk.

  • common sense

    In the leastern conference

  • Onaje

    Also (not that it matters as much in the west), but Ariza gave Paul George a lot of problems…The issue in the West is the best scorers are front line players and point guards, but Houston could trust Ariza to stay on Lillard’s hip better than Parsons did giving up that game winner at least.

  • 2cents

    You said it.

    Lets see if those same “role” players have his back come Playoff time…

  • bridgebuilder78

    Can’t imagine Duncan, Parker, or Ginobili, or any of the Spurs talking about their teammates in such a manner, and that’s the real difference between a championship team and a pretender team.

  • Peter

    All those role players shot better and defended better than Harden against Portland in playoffs. #fact

  • nerissapartington

    Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the>>CLICK NEXT TAB FOR MORE INFO AND HELP

  • busherbee

    With a mouth like that, Harden BETTER win.

  • busherbee

    This explains why no one wanted to play for the Rockets. Who wants to be a scrub crew for the 2 royal highnesses?

  • Weymern Yam

    They’ve got Ariza imo plays better than Chandler Parson cause he actually plays defence unlike Parson where he is all out forward. Canaan and Motiejunas move improved exceptionally throughout the summer league and now I’m just hoping that McHale allows them to play more minutes.

  • Speedz

    Except Howard, but their offense bogged down because they kept force feeding him in the post.

    As for the role players, all of them were inconsistent due to bad coaching and yet Harden played like a man who wanted to go fishing early in the playoffs.

  • Speedz

    This imo is only the beginning, and tbh no matter who they might sign this team wont go far with those 2 as the ‘cornerstone’. Seen enough basketball to know they dont have what it takes to go all the way.

  • Speedz

    Ariza was playing in a contract year though, he always rise to the occasion when its contract year just like last time before he signed that fat contract after leaving the LAL.

  • Speedz

    I wont be surprised if Ariza regressed into his pre-contract year level.

    This team lacks ‘real’ leadership, a true respectful leader will lever talk smack like that to the media no matter what the odds are.

  • 2cents

    So are you defending the role players … or Harden?

  • busherbee

    And I would agree.

  • Peter

    Saying Harden shouldn’t be downplaying role players unless he’s actually performing better than them.