“Bruise too much, I lose too much
Step on stage, the girls boo too much
I guess it’s cause you run with lame dudes too much
Me lose my touch? Never that!
If I did, ain’t no problem to get the gat
Where the true players at?”
- The Notorious B.I.G. – Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems
So… When did the Rockets become the Sacramento Kings?
After years of setting the example as a professional organization, the Harden & Howard Show has devolved into an absolute shit show before our very eyes. There are information leaks coming out everyday, Dwight Howard is going on a national-media shaming tour of Daryl Morey and Leslie Alexander has decided he is the man in charge and has stuck his boot into the coaching search.
The big news in Houston this off-season was always going to be the new coaching hire, and whether or not Dwight was going to opt-in to the final year of his deal.
I think Alexander’s choice of Mike D’Antoni is as clear a message to Howard as any in the regard.
Les is like a two year-old: he wants to be excited by everything and still hasn’t fully developed the part of his brain which helps with decision making. Les is an iconic figure in Houston and I cannot tell you the last time the media has questioned him, but that’s how bad he looks in Rockets-Land recently. The backlash over the news that Mike D’Antoni was the leading candidate for the head coach position was incredible – and yet it was oh so deserved.
I have no qualms with D’Antoni and I understand the reasons why he could actually be a good fit for the Rockets; it’s the interference of a team owner in its business that frustrates me. You only have to look to the Knicks with James Dolan, and the Cowboys with Jerry Jones, to see the ever-present mediocrity that occurs when an owner thinks that his stacks of money make him a sporting connoisseur.
Daryl Morey, widely considered one of the best general managers in the NBA, was employed to do a job, but how can he manage general things if those opportunities are being taken away from him?
Seems like Les should have employed him as the specific manager.
I’ll stop that was atrocious.
Regardless of how poor my joke might be, the point is valid: Morey was hired for a reason, and part of his job as the general manager is to find the right coach, with the right ideals, to take the Rockets in the right direction.
The GM, Head Coach and players need to be on the same page and have synergy for an NBA team to maintain success over the course of a season: Leslie Alexander throwing himself into the mix complicates matters, as it is quite obvious that D’Antoni was not a Morey hire.
After a season in which Houston’s defense cratered, it’s obvious that they need a reset down on that end of the court, and the fact that Vogel, Thibodeau and Jeff Van Gundy were all available, meant that the Rockets could hire a prime defensive co-ordinator to help make them competitive again. Also, these individuals were each identified as having personalities that could facilitate Houston’s aloof superstar James Harden in getting his arse into gear on defense and become a player who isn’t an absolute negative on that end. How Houston let these individuals fall through the net is dumbfounding. Vogel ended up taking a less compelling opportunity in Orlando while JVG was never truly in the running, as he and Les couldn’t stand each other after his most recent tenure as a head coach.
The Rockets have now been coach-less since the 28th of April, and there are 12 known candidates that have interviewed for the position, per Calvin Watkins of ESPN:
The decisions of this front office continue to baffle after season that was nothing but a shit-show since Harden turned up overweight to pre-season training.
We haven’t even got to Ty Lawson refusing to give up the Henny and taking Houston down with him.
Please no one make him do that Henny and Eggs challenge: the Pacers don’t deserve that.
In all seriousness, the Rockets were considered legitimate championship contenders, and people genuinely thought they could make it out of the stacked Western Conference.
Ty rewarded Houston with 5.8ppg and 3.4apg before getting waived in February.
To sum up how bad this year was;
THEY COULDN’T EVEN DO A DAMN TRADE RIGHT.
Motiejunas and Thornton returned to Houston after Stan Van Gundy decided Motiejunas’ back wasn’t going to cut it; but, I mean, the guy has the most fire mixtape cover of all time so he can do what he wants.
Houston is just a disaster. Daryl Morey has so many things to fix that it looks like, for once, he could actually be out of his depth.
Who is he going to hire as the head coach?
Who is he going to hire as assistants?
How can he fill the roster around James Harden so that the Rockets don’t take another nose dive next season?
I mean the Rockets have been a shit-show this year, but the stakes next season are even higher: Without the right players and the right coach this team really could become the Kings…
They will just move one step closer to a disaster of a franchise going in the wrong direction with an aloof star player who continues to confound with his personality, but star on the court.
And that is a very real, and frightening possibility.