Ariza denies being ringleader in locker-room fracas

USA Today Sports

As the smoke clears following a postgame incident between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night, the NBA appears to have decided who's to blame for the apparent confrontation.

However, Rockets forward Trevor Ariza doesn't think the league is getting it right, as he's been fingered as the ringleader of the Rockets reportedly storming into the Clippers locker room at Staples Center.

"The only problem that I have is all the buzz (the media) created," Ariza said, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. "You guys had a lot of different stories about what happened, none of which were true. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. The people that were there know exactly what happened."

After a heated contest between the newfound bitter rivals, Rockets center Clint Capela was reported to have caused a diversion for his teammates, as James Harden, Chris Paul, Gerald Green, and Ariza made their way into the Los Angeles locker room, hoping to confront Clippers guard Austin Rivers.

The NBA has reportedly narrowed it down to Ariza being the key instigator in the whole mess, and, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, his teammates were merely there trying to calm him down and hold him back.

However, Ariza doesn't see how he could have been the aggressor, considering several Clippers played for the Rockets last season prior to the blockbuster trade which sent Chris Paul to Houston.

"Half of those players in that locker room were on our team last year," Ariza said, according to Feigen. "I'm pretty friendly with everybody that I know."

The next time the teams play will once again be in Los Angeles on Feb. 28. The Clippers are up 2-0 in the season series.

Ariza denies being ringleader in locker-room fracas
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