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@  slick shoes : (19 July 2018 - 09:27 PM) P.S. please just go play in LA, Melo.
@  slick shoes : (19 July 2018 - 09:25 PM) Melo will be a FA as of tomorrow. I am hoping against all hope that we don't pick him up for anything more than the vet min.
@  slick shoes : (19 July 2018 - 05:58 PM) Most teams in the east have been built to beat a LeBron team. Interested to see which direction they all go now that he's out in the wild west.
@  rocketrick : (18 July 2018 - 03:40 PM) Terrible deal for Toronto IMO. Still, they needed to do something diiferent after firing the NBA Coach of the Year Casey and being demolished for the 3rd time in 3 years by Cleveland.
@  Mario Peña : (18 July 2018 - 01:35 PM) Thank the basketball gods that Leonard is out of the West. That’s a handful of less nights Beard and co. have to face his defense.
@  rocketrick : (12 July 2018 - 03:49 PM) I seriously doubt OKC will stretch Carmelo as that keeps them in the Luxury Tax going forward. Bite the bullet this year, then things begin to improve for OKC regarding Salary Cap next season and beyond.,,,, OKC will waive Carmelo, that is all but a given at this point. Deadline to do so is August 31 so they may try to play it out for awhile yet....
@  DenverRocket : (11 July 2018 - 10:15 PM) James Ennis 2 years according to Shams
@  rocketrick : (10 July 2018 - 06:57 PM) Only reasonable choice is that OKC waives Carmelo straight out. Then OKC saves over $100 million in luxury tax and salary. Again, I feign cluelessness
@  rocketrick : (10 July 2018 - 06:52 PM) It is only MONEY just like Pink Floyd back in the day. Anyway, the NBAPA states the obvious. If the Rockets pay Carmelo the minimum, OKC substracts that amount from their contract due him this year dollar for dollar. Why in the Hell would anybody pay Carmelo above the Vet min8mum because OKC absolutely 100% cover the difference no matter what...
@  rocketrick : (10 July 2018 - 05:03 PM) The Warriors chose to put Capela on the free throw line in the 4th quarter of Game 7 last month. 2-4 I think, maybe 1-4 I can't remember for sure
@  rocketrick : (10 July 2018 - 04:59 PM) Rockets have reportedly offered Capela $58 million for 4 years. Max per the NBAPA is like $80 million. Alternatively, Capela could accept like the $3.7 million qualifying offer for 2018-2019 and become Unrstricted after next season.
@  Mario Peña : (10 July 2018 - 02:56 AM) I’m pretty sure I’ll be in the minority but I think Melo could work.
@  thejohnnygold : (09 July 2018 - 11:01 PM) I wish LA had signed Melo instead :(
@  DenverRocket : (09 July 2018 - 10:49 PM) Mbah a Moute has apparently signed a one year 4.3m contract with the Clippers
@  rocketrick : (07 July 2018 - 05:02 PM) Remember the name Trevon Duval. I have no doubt Trevon is on the Rockets roster going forward. Once he figures out an outside shot....watch out!
@  rocketrick : (07 July 2018 - 04:52 PM) World Cup is getting interesting.... Russia (assuming they defeat Croatia) vs. England, France and Belgium...I digress.....
@  rocketrick : (07 July 2018 - 04:33 PM) I meant to say last year's version of Gerald Green who only saw like 10-12 minutes a game in the 2018 playoffs. Can Coach Bzdelik with more time impact Gerald Green on the defensive end moving forward?
@  rocketrick : (07 July 2018 - 04:30 PM) I agree with Cooper on MCW. We just have to remind ourselves he is making the minimum. Similar to Gerald Green. If Gerald Green can buckle down on Defense, he could be a real asset this season going forward....
@  Cooper : (07 July 2018 - 03:02 AM) Id be shocked if MCW sees non garbage time playoff minutes.
@  Mario Peña : (04 July 2018 - 01:50 PM) I think I’m starting to realize that maybe we overvalued Ariza and he was a weakness offensively. Williams could be a good counter to Livingston and Swaggy in those 2nd and 3rd string lineups plus he’s another defender to throw at Curry. The Rocket strategy is relatively effective versus Curry and maybe Williams can help.

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The dark side of relevance


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#1 Red94

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 03:01 PM

New post: The dark side of relevance
By: Forrest Walker

When the James Harden trade was announced last October, the world changed for the Houston Rockets and their supporters. In the three years prior, the Rockets had lost something crucial that they had been looking for ever since. It wasn’t scoring or wins or defense or cap space. All those things can help, but they aren’t the prize itself. Until James Harden arrived, the Rockets were missing relevance. Now, with a double shot of superstar talent in James Harden and Dwight Howard, the Rockets are as relevant as they’ve ever been, and the world is paying attention.

Houston has the holy grail of mass media appeal, and have a path to contention and domination, if everything goes right. That’s the good part. The bad part of having all eyes on you is that all eyes are on you. And sometimes, that’s the worst thing of all. Teams, like people, struggle to get into the discussion, to enter the debate, to be in the eye of the people. The spotlight can warm, but it can also burn, and we’ve seen that happen plenty. We need look no further than the Eastern Conference of the NBA for the dark side of anything.

New York is the so-called “basketball Mecca.” Only Los Angeles can compete with the streetball scene in New York, and the sheer amount of love and adulation the sport gets from the city is overwhelming. New Yorkers love their teams, as well, and have a fierce devotion to the New York Knicks, and are warming to the Brooklyn Nets. The biggest media market in the world has gazed upon these two teams for decades, and the world has gazed with them.

It’s too bad, then, that both of those teams are terrible.

In most cities, like Milwaukee, where the Bucks languish in isolated failure, the spotlight dims and fades as the wins dry up. Many teams lose year after year, and unless something strange happens, only the die-hard fan from another city will follow their exploits. The Bucks, the Sixers, the Kings, the Bobcats. All of these teams struggle and suffer on their own terms, with their own fans. They may have little chance of signing major deals or seeing their logo on the front page of the New York Times, but they also don’t have to be on the cover of the New York Times. The Knicks do. Win, lose, rise, fall, there they are. The light is on, and it won’t go off.

When the Rockets were irrelevant, the press wasn’t breathing down Chase Budinger’s neck, asking why the chemistry was off, or the shooting was poor, or the ball movement was sticking. Apart from the questions about Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, the goings-on of general manager Daryl Morey were wholly the purview of hardcore hoopheads and Houstonites. But in grabbing that coveted piece, that superstar, Morey and friends also grabbed a place in the spotlight. Houston has been reveling in the warmth, somehow convincing Howard to say all the right things, to lure in players willing to take the minimum.

But then when you lose games to the Kings, to the Sixers, to the Jazz, the spotlight doesn’t turn off. Now that that beam is chasing them, instead of the other way around, they have to be ready for it to hone in, to focus with laser intensity on everything. With twenty games on ESPN or TNT, the Rockets get to strut their stuff in front of tens of millions. Unfortunately, that means that tens of millions of people got to see the Rockets lose to the Lakers. And tens of millions of people got to pull out their eggs and rotten tomatoes on twitter and let loose.

Lakers fans know this feeling all too well. It was only last year that a seemingly unstoppable lineup of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash was rolled out, snapping the spotlight even closer on a team that lives there every day. What did the world get to see? They watched Nash’s health deteriorate rapidly. They saw Gasol wilt and age. They saw Howard stumble and stagger through a situation that rubbed him wrong. They saw Kobe Bryant try to hold it all together with everything he had, only to have his achilles tendon come apart. Last year’s Los Angeles Lakers were an unmitigated disaster. They’re still recovering from that catastrophe, and look likely to miss the playoffs entirely while precluding themselves from being players in the draft or in free agency. The sky has fallen in Los Angeles and it’s still on the ground.

The Lakers still have twenty nationally televised games. The Pacers may be the best team in the league, and they have less than half that amount. Embarrassment, despair and frustration may be setting in for the long haul, but the spotlight’s still there. Everyone’s watching, and the heat is building in New York and Los Angeles. The spotlight doesn’t help you get through the bad times. It makes them worse. Now Houston has a new puzzle to solve. They got everyone to pay attention, to turn that light on space city once again. Now they have to figure out how to keep from getting burned.


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#2 rocketrick

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:33 AM

I would say, so far so good in regards to the Rockets handling the extra media attention. We don't hear any sniping in the press, for instance, like is commonplace in NY every season that I can remember. Or how about last season in La La land? None of that is occurring here in Houston. Why? Because I believe our team players like each other (well, maybe not Asik's case with D12 supplanting him)  and are beginning to build the necessary chemistry necessary to be a serious contender. 

 

Plus, I believe the Rockets organization and players like D12 and James Harden welcome the extra spotlight and for the most part have proven they can handle adversity. Not always, but moreso than not.

 

This is what all serious NBA players aspire to, being on a team that matters and playing games that matter.


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#3 Sir Thursday

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:56 AM

The problems that the big market teams face in terms of bad press are driven (IMO) by the fact that local writers in big cities get exposure on a national level. That means any time someone who writes vitriol about the team, it gets much more exposure than it would otherwise. You can see it in the way that ESPN has its own sites for LA, New York etc. or in how someone can be a high profile supporter of a team with a huge bias towards them (Simmons) and still cultivate a massive audience. 

 

Houston (fortunately) doesn't have that problem. Otherwise Jerome Solomon's columns would be national news(!) and it would be a pain in the arse for people who genuinely want to follow the team. As such I don't think it is possible for the maelstrom of attention that engulfs every horrible decision the Knicks make or every slight murmur of discontent from the Lakers camp to be re-enacted in Houston at the moment. Hopefully it will stay that way.

 

ST


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#4 meekg96

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 05:00 PM



*Houstonians


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