Rockets center DeMarcus Cousins calls out disrespect by James Harden

Ben DuBose
·3 min read

In the wake of James Harden’s harsh comments about Houston being “just not good enough,” veteran NBA center and Rockets newcomer DeMarcus Cousins fired back in comments after Wednesday’s practice.

Harden did not attend and is no longer with the team, with the Rockets reportedly in the final stages of evaluating trade proposals. Brooklyn and Philadelphia are believed to be the leading suitors.

Nonetheless, with Harden’s criticisms now public knowledge after Tuesday’s postgame tantrum, Cousins clearly felt the need to respond as Houston prepares for life without its perennial All-Star and MVP finalist.

After Cousins chose to sign with Houston in November, he and the rest of the Rockets went through a tense training camp — with Harden choosing to party in Atlanta and Las Vegas at the start of camp, all while his teammates practiced in Houston. Harden had asked the team to trade him in the offseason, but with “The Beard” under contract for at least two more seasons, the team was under no obligation to immediately grant it.

On Wednesday, here’s what Cousins had to say about the matter:

Obviously, it’s disrespectful, but everybody has a right to their opinion. We feel some type of way about some of his actions.

I don’t feel betrayed. My interest was playing with John Wall, to be perfectly honest. … The disrespect [from Harden] started way before any interview. Just his 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. …

The other 14 guys in the locker room have done nothing to him. For us to be on the receiving end of disrespectful comments and antics… it’s completely unfair to the rest of the guys in the locker room.

Cousins collected 13 points and 10 rebounds in just 18 minutes during Tuesday’s blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, and the 30-year-old big man could become a more significant part of Houston’s offense in the inevitable weeks and months ahead, without Harden.

While Cousins has had a limited role in 2020-21 as he works his way back from three serious leg injuries, his words carry weight as a four-time NBA All-Star. On Wednesday, Cousins used that platform to make quite a statement about Harden, even before his official departure.

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OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Phoenix
-239--
Houston
+190--