I went to bed last night, as I typically do, around 11:30 central standard time.  I knew I’d awaken to the news that Chandler Parsons had signed the offer sheet extended to him by the Dallas Mavericks yesterday afternoon.  Instead, I was rudely greeted by this pic of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, with Parsons, retweeted by just about everyone I knew:


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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.


in from the editor

Random thoughts for July 9

  • For those keeping score at home, Michael Jordan’s decision to extend Gordon Hayward a max offer sheet is very, very bad news on the Chandler Parsons front.  
  • As I just tweeted a few minutes ago, I’m going to completely lose it if one more person suggests the team “focus on its bench and go after Durant next summer.”  The second Chandler Parsons re-signs, the Rockets kiss cap room goodbye for the duration of the H&H era.  That’s not even mentioning the fact that Durant isn’t a free agent until 2016.
  • That “maintenance program” designed to keep Dwyane Wade fresh for the Finals suddenly isn’t so cute anymore when Josh McRoberts is the second best player on the team and they’re out of the race by mid-December.
  • I’m not too thrilled by the signings of McRoberts and Granger either, but does Cleveland really give Lebron a better chance to win than Miami, next season?  Kyrie hasn’t really shown anything thus far in his career to make one think he’s a primetime player, though you have to think adding Lebron to the mix changes that.  There are numerous examples throughout recent history of high-scoring young “losers” who became impactful winners upon a change of environment/influence.  (I just can’t think of any off the top of my head).  You don’t know what you’re getting from Bennett and Wiggins.  Thompson?  Does Waiters stop trying to fight Kyrie?  And where’s there rim protection after Verajao goes down inevitably in mid-November?
  • Can you really go back to a team that cut guys like Mike Miller to line the owner’s pockets in the middle of a title defense?  You just can’t go back there after that.
  • …can you really go back to a team owned by a guy who wrote an angry letter in Comic Sans declaring his superiority?
  • I don’t really have a problem with Bosh declaring Miami is his first choice, as some of you do.  You guys need to stop being so emotionally volatile.  We’re not looking for a wife here.  It’s a game of transactions and we’re trying to put together a team of players that can win a title.  This doesn’t have to be Chris Bosh’s first option for him to come in and play hard.  Nothing in his history suggests he would do otherwise.
  • If I had to get one stop at that end, I’m putting in Omer Asik and Anthony Davis over Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh.  Sorry guys.

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The Red94 Podcast: On the Bosh pursuit

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What a bizarre, bizarre free agency it has been, even in the wake of a summer that saw Dwight Howard claim he had received divine inspiration during a weekend retreat to Aspen steering him toward the Houston Rockets.  When we last left off, the team had lost Kyle Lowry to the homecourt Raptors, lost serious momentum in the Carmelo Anthony chase, and put in a call to the agent of the game’s greatest player.  Now it seems the Houston Rockets have fully turned their attention toward one Christopher Bosh, with sources indicating they had “intensified their pursuit” of the All-Star power forward.  If you’re thinking this story seems vaguely familiar, your memory has served correct – the last go-around involved an iPad.

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