Cousins rips Harden for ‘disrespectful’ antics

Houston Rockets middle DeMarcus Cousins blasted James Harden for being “disrespectful,” saying that the disgruntled famous person’s antics this season have been “utterly unfair” to the remainder of the gamers on the roster.

Cousins took his sturdy stance in a digital media availability Wednesday earlier than, in line with sources, the Rockets traded Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a four-team blockbuster deal that additionally includes the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Prior to the commerce, reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the Rockets introduced that Harden didn’t attend Wednesday’s follow attributable to a mutual settlement with the franchise on the heels of his harsh feedback following the earlier evening’s blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Harden, who had been pushing to be traded for months, declared that the Rockets “simply aren’t adequate” and that he does not suppose the state of affairs “could be mounted,” saying that he had “achieved all the pieces I can” for the Rockets.

“Obviously, it is disrespectful, however everyone has a proper to their opinion,” Cousins stated. “We really feel a sure sort of method about a few of his actions.

“This is the nasty a part of the enterprise that sort of will get swept beneath the rug. You take care of a few of these issues. When guys are in positions of being franchise gamers or regardless of the case could also be, it is normally generally a nasty breakup.”

Cousins, a four-time All-Star who signed a one-year deal for the veterans minimal after lacking a lot of the earlier two seasons due to a collection of significant accidents, famous that Harden’s postgame media session Tuesday evening was a continuation of the previous MVP’s disrespectful conduct.

“Just the strategy to coaching camp, displaying up the best way he did, the antics off the court docket, the disrespect began method earlier than [Tuesday night],” Cousins stated. “This is not one thing that all the sudden occurred final evening, however with that being stated, like I stated, that is the nasty a part of the enterprise. So it’s what it’s.”

Harden held out in the beginning of coaching camp, leaving the Rockets in limbo whereas he partied maskless in Atlanta and Las Vegas with rapper Lil Baby. After Harden reported a number of days late, he was required to check damaging for COVID-19 for six consecutive days earlier than being cleared to hitch workforce actions.

The missed follow time and preseason video games had been particularly problematic contemplating the Rockets had a number of new core gamers and a first-year head coach in Stephen Silas, who was implementing new offensive and defensive programs.

Harden was sidelined once more for 4 days and fined $50,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s well being and security protocols after video surfaced of him attending a personal indoor celebration days earlier than the Rockets’ scheduled season opener, which was postponed attributable to an absence of obtainable gamers.

The Rockets have misplaced 4 of their final 5 video games to fall to 3-6, and workforce sources have taken observe of Harden’s obtrusive lack of effort not too long ago. He has averaged 17.4 factors on 37.8% taking pictures within the stretch — the lowest-scoring five-game span of his eight-plus yr Rockets tenure — and has routinely did not run again in transition protection.

Sources instructed ESPN that a number of individuals within the Rockets group had been angered that Harden appeared to level the finger at others on Tuesday evening with out taking any accountability for his personal poor efficiency.

“I simply really feel prefer it’s a method about dealing with enterprise,” Cousins stated. “He can really feel nonetheless he needs to really feel concerning the group or no matter his present state of affairs is, however the different 14 guys within the locker room have achieved nothing to him. For us to be on the receiving finish of a number of the disrespectful feedback and antics, it is utterly unfair to us.”

Cousins stated he was “not pleased with the drama in any respect” and was making an attempt to get his teammates to focus solely on the issues inside their management.

“We know what our mindset is coming in on daily basis,” Cousins stated. “We wish to are available in and work, get higher, lead this youthful group. Regardless of what is going on on with the workforce, the fellows which might be displaying up, which might be dedicated, which might be purchased in to the duty at hand, we will go to struggle with these guys. Whatever these outcomes are, we will reside with it. We’re going to depart all of it on the ground and no matter occurs, occurs.”

Asked if he may play with Harden once more if he wasn’t instantly traded, Cousins stated: “I do not actually suppose that is a query for us. I feel that is a query for him: Will he ever suppose he may play with us once more? I do not know. Quite actually, do not care.”

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