Parsons, who recently signed a reported three-year, $46 million contract with the rival Dallas Mavericks, took exception to Rockets guard James Harden’s comments about Houston being “fine” next season because all the team had lost in the offseason was “role players.” Chandler, naturally, found those remarks odd, particularly coming from Harden.
“That’s a pretty ridiculous statement if he meant that,” Parsons told Jay Mohr on FOX Sports Radio. “That’s part of the reason I wanted to go to Dallas, because I’m ready for that next step. I’m ready for a bigger role, and I’m ready for more leadership. If anybody should understand that, it’s James, because he was in the same situation in Oklahoma City and then he got his chance to come to Houston and shine. I’m not real sure what that means.”
The comments Parsons referred to came in the Philippines, where Harden appeared at a charity event.
“Dwight (Howard) and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets,” Harden said. “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.”
While Harden might be right about the cornerstone/role players distinction, it’s still something most stars in his position know but don’t say. The remarks also feed the perception that Harden and Howard are less-than-ideal teammates — some observers have used a more pejorative word than that — which might have contributed to Houston’s inability to lure a big-name free agent this summer.
This is not the first time a member of the Rockets fired a parting shot at Parsons, either. General manager Daryl Morey said the day after declining to match Dallas’ offer that the Rockets “feel strongly that turning down Chandler’s option gives us a better chance to win a championship.”
Parsons later said he was “offended” by Morey’s statement.