Houston Rockets CEO Tad Brown has moved to quell speculation that James Harden and Dwight Howard have been trying to engineer moves against each other behind the scenes in Texas.
Various rumours surfaced on a number of media outlets speculating that four-time All-Star Harden had orchestrated the early-season firing of head coach Kevin McHale, as well as demanding that Dwight Howard be shifted before the 2016 trade deadline.
Similarly, stories have appeared suggesting the former L.A Lakers and Orlando Magic center, Howard, had been accused of pushing for Rockets executives to move Harden for a few years now.
Brown has lamented the intense scrutiny his outfit has come under and was unequivocal in his response to the continuing rumours.
Brown said: "It's disappointing and it's bothersome from the standpoint of, James doesn't deserve this, Dwight doesn't deserve this, whether it be James coming in demanding to have Dwight traded—there was an article in the last week where supposedly both James and Dwight came to management and they both wanted each other traded—that never happened.
"Where James supposedly came in and demanded there be a coaching change—that never happened. Dwight came in and said he wanted to be traded—that never happened. These things comes up and take a life of their own."
The Rockets are eighth in the Western Conference at present with a .500 record of 29-29. The Utah Jazz are only one win behind them and considering the vast talent within their ranks - including Howard and Harden - it's been a hard season at the Toyota Center.
26-year-old Harden continues to light up the scoring charts with 28.6 points a night; which is only second to the other-worldly Steph Curry.
Whilst Howard has had more formidable years previously, on average, he is still comfortably recording a double-double every game.
Brown vehemently denies the speculative claims made towards two of his biggest names and is tiring of the 'unnamed sources' that continue to plague his franchise.
"I can tell you unequivocally, being part of that (front-office) team, those things have never happened," Brown said. "That's frustrating, and, for whatever reason, it's been a constant throughout this season.
"As we struggle and as we continue to struggle a little bit on the court, trying to get things to where we want them to be, that people have continued to take shots at our guys, take shots at our team, with unnamed sources being the ones who routinely provide that information."
D-12 is free to opt out of his contract in the summer and test the waters of free agency. Whether it's because there are actual problems with Harden, or because the press appears relentless on creating them, chances are at this point that's exactly what the eight-time All-Star will do.