James Harden's cornerstone quote belies what he's trying to accomplish

I want to start out by saying that I am a huge fan of James Harden's for a couple reasons. For starters, being an Arizona State University alumni I love that he's a Sun Devil and what he's done for the program.

Not to mention, his game has always reminded me of Paul Pierce's due to his craftiness with the ball and ability to get separation on his jump shots off the dribble. It's a safe bet to predict in his odds in appearing in several more All-Star game appearances. But with current NBA Futures odds for the Houston Rockets priced at (+1800) you can understand Harden's concern for the success of his team moving forward into this coming season.

Having said that I do feel Harden's cornerstone comments with regards to Chandler Parsons yesterday were a mistake. As Kurt Hellin from NBC Sports reported:
First Dwight Howard said the Rockets’ loss of Parsons “won’t affect us at all.” Which is kind of what you expect Howard to say, still it’s a bit of a dis.

Then James Harden took it another step. Harden is in the Philippines for an event he can’t actually play in and spoke with the Philippines Star about a variety of issues, but when asked about the loss of Parsons and other roster moves Harden said this.

“Dwight (Howard) and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets,” said Harden. “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.”

We’ll see how Harden feels about role players being easily interchangeable in January after playing a few months with Trevor Ariza rather than Parsons, with Isaiah Canaan as the backup point guard for Patrick Beverley and not Jeremy Lin.

In fairness to Harden, as I wrote about earlier in the week, it's been a very difficult summer for the Rockets.

Chris Bosh's decision not to sign had to be particularly jarring considering he would have made Houston title contenders.

However, Harden needs to be more careful about what he says in order for his teammates to feel appreciated as well if he wants free agents to sign with Houston in the future.

As former Celtic and current Clipper's assistant Kevin Eastman recently posted on Twitter having all teammates feeling involved is essential to team success:

Here's another great quote along those lines from the Zen Master himself, Phil Jackson:

Now, as I intimated before, I believe Harden was probably frustrated by the Rockets summer and continually having to answer questions about it.

Not to mention, technically he is right that he and Dwight are the cornerstones of the franchise right now.

He just needs to choose his words a little more carefully if he wants the Rockets, which I know he does, to compete for a championship in the future.

Follow Clint on Twitter @ClintCorey