To start, I apologize to those of you who only follow me for Rockets commentary. I can ensure you that once the preseason gets underway in the next few weeks, the onslaught of insults aimed at the local football team which has been greeting you on your timeline will dissipate. I take to Twitter when I’m angry and there hasn’t been much to be angry about recently on the basketball front.
My purpose today, here, is to expound more on something I’ve found absolutely eye-opening which is the contrast in managerial competency between the Rockets [and Astros] and the Texans. This distinction was most recently underscored by the most recent transaction made by each team. As you know, the Texans agreed to a three-year extension with center Nick Martin which will pay him $11 million a year. The Rockets, meanwhile, came to terms on a two-year deal with backup big man Nene, the creativity of which Jeff Siegel highlights in a fantastic breakdown. The two moves are classic Texans and Rockets.
In June, I concluded that despite the dire luxury tax
implications, the Golden State Warriors would be able to retain their four
All-Stars of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The solution to the financial conundrum would be found in
the enhanced revenue streams generated from the team’s new arena, the Chase
How much has changed since I wrote that article; the only constant in the modern NBA is that there is no constant. Durant ultimately teamed up with Kyrie Irving to lead a new Eastern Conference top-tier competitor in the Brooklyn Nets. Durant is one of the more self-aware superstar professional athletes, so it came as no surprise that in a recent sit-down with the Wall Street Journal, he validated what many basketball fans felt of the KD era in Golden State – he ultimately felt out of place amongst the original core three of Curry, Thompson and Green.
I know how much everyone loves trade rumors and player movement, but for me, maybe because I’m old now(?), there’s just something to potential finality that is so comforting. I want to be done. I want to keep the same team and watch it improve at the margins through chemistry and internal development. I came to hate the unrest in recent years of keeping an eye towards the next star. Before it surfaced that Chris Paul and James Harden hated each other, I mused repeatedly that my greatest regret was Paul’s age – I wanted to see the two of them, along with Capela, play out their primes together. The Rockets now have the potential finality I described after agreeing to terms with Eric Gordon on Friday evening in a deal which will pay him to be a Rocket for an additional three seasons. Now the comfort in the finality I’ve described solely hinges upon the fact that the team I cover has a roster which can compete for a title. I would not be pining for boring summers otherwise.