Ralph Sampson says the Houston Rockets should have shown more respect than just telling him he was being traded to Golden State as he stepped off a plane after returning from a Saturday night game in Chicago.

"The only thing that hurts me is they let me step off the plane and told me I was traded," Sampson said. "They knew they were going to trade me three or four days ago. They could have pulled me in the office and said 'You've been traded,' and given me the respect that I was due. I would have felt no hard feelings."

Sampson and reserve guard Steve Harris were traded to the Warriors for center Joe Barry Carroll and guard Eric Floyd.

"They told me before, and hand-shook and everything, that I would never be traded, that I was an integral part of the Houston twin towers system," Sampson said. "I was told that a number of times."

Rockets Coach Bill Fitch, while agreeing the airport might not have been the place to break the news, denied the trade had been sealed days before. "{Warriors Executive Vice President} Don Nelson was in town three or four days ago," Fitch said. "But he and {Rockets President and General Manager} Ray Patterson didn't discuss the trade."