Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden recently took a swipe on Jeremy Lin and other players shipped this offseason, labeling them just role players of a team that has him and Dwight Howard as the cornerstones.
Harden, who recently visited the Philippines for a basketball clinic, told the press that the Rockets just lost role players after Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik got traded and Chandler Parsons signed with the Dallas Mavericks.
The All-Star added that he believed the Rockets are going to be fine next year, despite mission out on some elite free-agents like Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh and then losing some of their key pieces from last season in the process.
"Dwight (Howard) and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets. 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 told reporters via Dean's Corner section on the Philippine Star.
Lin, who averaged 12 points and 4 assists last season in a backup role for the Rockets, did not rebuff Harden's statement at all and even backed it up in a recent interview.
"It didn't affect me at all," said Lin, according to CSN Houston, "I agree with his statements. Those two are the cornerstones. They have lost other players and they're going to get other players and they're going to be a good team.
The Harvard-educated baller said that Harden's statement was not meant to be derogatory because it's no secret Harden and Howard are the stars of the Rockets. He added that he has been in constant communication with his former teammate since he got traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Lin, his sixth man role with the Rockets last year is an eye-opener that it's not about who's starting, but rather who's the one finishing the game. He also talked about being an efficient player, contributing on both ends of the floor on restricted minutes.
Lin improved his shooting percentages in his second year with the Rockets, clipping 45 percent from the field (37 percent from beyond the arc) and 82 percent from the free-throw line in 29 minutes per game.
On the other hand, Parsons found out Harden's comments a hard pill to swallow, calling it a "ridiculous statement if he meant that."
Parson, who was drafted in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft, averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists in his third year with the Rockets. However, general manager Drayl Morey made a surprising move by letting Parsons to test the market as a restricted free-agent and then deciding not match the Dallas Mavericks' three-year, $46 million offer sheet.
For more Jeremy Lin news, read more at IBT Sports