Warriors

Mullin calls out Rockets' Harden for 'tone deaf' behavior

Warriors

As rumors swirl regarding James Harden's discontent with the Houston Rockets, there's at least one person who just isn't having it. 

NBC Sports Bay Area analyst and five-time NBA All-Star Chris Mullin voiced his opinion on Harden's reported behavior on SportsNet Central: Warriors Edition on Tuesday after Golden State's 125-99 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, saying the 2017-18 MVP's actions are "tone-deaf." 

"If you haven't noticed, we have a pandemic," Mullin said. "We have people starving and losing their jobs. OK, you're unhappy. Then go to work and collect your big huge paycheck."

Mullin's message stems from The Athletic's Shams Charania, who reported Tuesday that tensions between Harden and the Rockets rose to a new level. Harden made it clear to Houston he wanted to be traded to a contender and reported to camp a week late -- albeit with the decision to remain professional with the organization. However, Harden has reportedly been involved in multiple verbal confrontations with his fellow teammates -- including allegedly throwing a basketball at rookie Jae'Sean Tate -- leading to growing hostility within the organization. 

The reports on Harden clearly struck a nerve to Mullin, who also emphasized what he believes the Rockets should say to Harden.

"We're paying you $40 million," Mullin said. "We'll do the deal when we want to do the deal. We got your message, you want to be traded. We'll get back to you when we trade you." 

 
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Fellow analyst Dorell Wright also chimed in, saying Harden needs to be "more professional." Mullin quickly retorted with his own synopsis.

"He needs to be a lot more professional," Mullin said. "He answers the call of duty on the court. But when you sign a max contract, you’re being paid for more than just being a basketball player. This has been a bad look for James Harden, the Houston Rockets and the NBA in general."

The Rockets are slated to tip off their regular season on Wednesday at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Houston is entering a new chapter under first-year head coach Stephen Silas, but still made some blockbuster trades in the offseason -- like swapping Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards for John Wall -- while adding another former NBA All-Star in DeMarcus Cousins.

Regardless, the eight-time NBA All-Star wants out of Houston, and the sooner the better for all involved. 

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