Chandler Parsons’ offer from the Dallas Mavericks wasn’t the only surprising Rockets-related news of the day: Jason Friedman announced today he would no longer be with the team following this week.
We teamed up on numerous collaborations over the years (here and here, and I could’ve sworn there were one or two others but I can’t seem to find them), but I will always remember Jason in association with this post, written back in 2010 on my first day with Toyota Center media credentials. The phrase “showed me the ropes” is often thrown around by young writers/reporters. That person for me is Jason Friedman. I still remember stepping foot into the Houston Rockets lockerroom for the first time while Jason explained pre-game availability procedure. Not a single word that came out of his mouth registered – Yao Ming, in all his majestic glory, was sitting just a few feet in front of me. A week later, I emailed Friedman with the query “WAIT WE’RE ALLOWED TO GO INTO THE VISITORS TOO?!?”
I’m a lawyer by profession – I never went to journalism school. But Jason taught me the little things one wishes they knew before being thrown into the fire. When and where the coach speaks before the game, how to approach a player, why you should avoid Terrence Williams (okay, I learned that on my own).
Friedman lost a lot of the creative freedom he had previously enjoyed towards the end of his time with the team. That quickly became clear after his monster weekly roundups, replete with advanced stats, stopped appearing on the team’s web site. This was a loss to anyone following the team, even those like myself who also covered it. I admit to having just read Jason’s recaps numerous times when I didn’t have the time to dig into the numbers for myself. The behind-the-scenes video breakdowns he’d compile regularly some months back were pure cocaine for a Rockets junkie. Now, we’re losing his coverage altogether.
I don’t know what the future holds for Jason, but I wish him the best, and I hope for all of our sake, the team can find a passable replacement. I wouldn’t bet on it.
I will resume coverage of the Chandler Parsons situation tomorrow morning.