Daryl Morey defended the Houston Rockets' season from criticism and also accused other teams of planting or influencing stories about the team.
Morey believes the stories are a free agent ploy.
"It's been disappointing - and obviously we're all disappointed - that people are painting the season we just had and trying to make it into a larger thing than it is, which is one season that was disappointing in a sea of a lots of seasons that were successful," Morey said. "Not as successful as we want, but for sure not the entire negative environment that people are trying to paint.
"It's smart for other teams to try to paint us in a negative way. It's a very competitive free-agent situation. All the articles you see out there are other teams I think very smartly trying to paint our situation as negative. Being kicked while you're down is a smart situation by teams leaking things, trying to put stuff out there to make us look bad."
There were stories about players not wanting to play with James Harden.
"I think that's very smart, strategic positioning," Morey said. "I had to address that last year when a certain owner was painting our team in a bad light. This year is no different. I think it's very smart that other teams are trying to paint our players in a bad light. … James Harden, I don't know who wouldn't want to play with him. A top-five player in the league, unbelievable passer, unbelievable scorer. … Everything we hear is that people only want to play with him."