The Rockets traded disgruntled guard James Harden to the Nets on Wednesday as part of a four-team deal also involving the Cavaliers and Pacers, according to multiple reports. DeMarcus Cousins probably won’t be sending him a going-away present.
Following the Rockets’ loss to the Lakers on Tuesday night, Harden offered a harsh review of Houston’s roster and essentially put his exit request directly into the microphone.
MORE: NBA players react to James Harden trade
“(We’re) just not good enough,” Harden said. “Obviously chemistry, talent-wise, just everything. And it was clear, like I said, these last few games. They just, from the beginning of the game, they were just aggressive. Veteran team, obviously, championship team, one of the best teams that we have in this league.
“I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can. I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”
Cousins heard those comments, and he didn’t like them. “Boogie” responded with a blowtorch on Wednesday prior to Harden being traded. Here’s a collection of quotes from his media session.
— On if he felt betrayed by Harden: “Me personally, I don’t feel betrayed at all. My interest was with playing with John Wall, to be brutally honest. With that being said, the disrespect [from Harden] started way before any interview. Just the approach the training camp, showing up the way he did, the antics off the court. The disrespect started way before.
“This isn’t something that all of a sudden happened last night. But with that being said, like I said, this is the nasty part of the business. It is what it is.”
“I don’t feel betrayed at all. My interest was with playing with John Wall, to be brutally honest.”
DeMarcus Cousins on if he feels betrayed by James Harden. pic.twitter.com/yRlyOFw0In
— ESPN (@espn) January 13, 2021
— On Harden saying the team isn’t good enough: “Obviously, it’s disrespectful, but everybody has a right to their opinion. We feel a certain type of way about some of his actions. This is the nasty part of the business that kind of gets swept under the rug. You deal with these types of things, and when guys are in positions of being franchise players or whatever the case may be, it’s usually sometimes a nasty breakup. Like I said, that’s all part of this business.”
DeMarcus Cousins on James Harden’s presser last night: “Obviously, it’s disrespectful but everyone has words to their opinion. We feel a certain way about some of his actions…” pic.twitter.com/qyFYxpXzxT
— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) January 13, 2021
— On Harden being disrespectful: “I just feel like it’s a way about handling business. He can feel however he wants to feel about the organization or whatever his current situation is, but the other 14 guys in the locker room have done nothing to him. So for us to be on the receiving end of some of the disrespectful comments and antics, it’s completely unfair to us.
“Like I said, we’ve done nothing to him. We’ve only showed up to work, just like everybody else, and came in ready to work. So like I said, it’s completely unfair to the rest of the guys in the locker room.”
DeMarcus Cousins on James Harden: “He could feel however he wants to feel with the organization, but the other 14 guys in that locker room have done nothing to him. For us to be on the receiving end of some of the disrespectful comments and antics, it’s completely unfair to us.” pic.twitter.com/s6jumGIYLG
— Salman Ali (@SalmanAliNBA) January 13, 2021
— On if there is any way the team could play with Harden again: “I don’t really think that’s a question for us. I think that’s a question for him. Will he ever think he could play with us again? I don’t know. Quite honestly, don’t care.”