“I want a hamburger… no, a cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake…”
“You’ll get nothing, and like it!”
– Spaulding (John F. Barmon, Jr) and Judge Smails (Ted Knight) in Caddyshack
“I too need structure. A little fucking discipline.”
– Thora Birch as Jane Burnham in American Beauty
Who’d have ever thought I’d be writing consecutive posts about the off-season, roster moves of the Houston Rockets. But here goes.
Too often, many of us find ourselves in work environments where the inmates run the asylum, with no sense of control and complete disregard for the chain of command. Nowhere is this more evident than in today’s NBA.
Superstar basketball players, who make more than their coach and quite often more than the team owners they play for, can now dictate where and with whom they want to play. On a whim, one player can shift the Association’s entire balance of power.
The Dwight Howard signing did just that, immediately making a contender out of Houston and leaving Los Angeles to scour the free agent market for a big man to fill his shoes.
Upon hearing the news that the Rockets had just landed the most coveted free agent of the off-season, the disgruntled Omer Asik, who plays the same position as Howard, demanded a trade. His demands were summarily dismissed.
The Turkish Asik has been in the league three years now, having his most productive season last season, averaging 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. His contract with the Rockets will garner him $16 million over the next two years, a fair price for a solid starting center but a bit much for a backup.
As far as we know, the Rockets have no plans to move him which means he’ll either play alongside Dwight Howard (we saw how well Dwight coexists on the floor in L.A. with another big man) or alternate their minutes, probably a little bit of both. Houston will have to figure that out.
But that’s not the point. The point is who does Omer Asik think he is to demand a trade? Dwight Howard? Despite Asik’s solid numbers and very possibly more refined post moves than Dwight (who in the league doesn’t?), he has nowhere near the bargaining power of a Dwight Howard. So of course management is going to tell him to shut the hell up, as they should. It sets a good precedent for the later squabbles that are bound to happen. After all, they did just sign Dwight Howard.
Now I’m not sure how the whole rejection thing went down, whether Asik stormed in to see General Manager Daryl Morey, whose cigar embers are still burning since signing Dwight Howard, and then asked to be traded through the help of his Turkish interpreter, or whether he went to the media pouting about potential playing time but that point is also moot. The Rockets answer to Asik was a swift and decisive NO, as it should have been.
Asik broke the chain of command with little ground to stand on. Know your place, young man. Asik may make more money than McHale but it’s still McHale’s Navy. As is true with any company, you don’t always have to like who you work with but you have to be productive and focus on a common goal, in this case winning an NBA championship. McHale and MIT graduate Morey probably have a better idea than Asik what that will take. At least that’s what they’re getting paid for.
Dealing with prima donna seven footers (or thereabouts) is no easy task. Just ask anyone who has coddled to Dwight Howard over the past two years. Ultimately, owners, coaches and GMs walk a fine line, learning when (or when not) to kowtow to superstars while still fielding a competitive team. It’s a delicate balance. After Dwight left Orlando, the Magic became a 20-win team. When LeBron left Cleveland, Dan Gilbert saw his franchise lose over a quarter of its value that very same day. No wonder he was so upset. Since then LeBron has won two titles and Cleveland is still miles away from relevancy.
While it’s not always wise to tell players to just sit down and shut up, Houston nipped the Asik thing in the bud by setting a precedent that there will be a clear chain of command that starts not with any of the gentlemen wearing uniforms but rather those wearing a suit and tie. Chemistry is a key to building a winning team but so is structure and discipline. So far, McHale and company have set the record straight, letting the team know who’s boss, something Stan Van Gundy in Orlando and Mike D’Antoni in Los Angeles failed to do.
We’ll see how long that lasts in Houston.
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So Dwight packs up his toys and takes it with him , also his overbearing schtick as luggage ? Well, here`s hoping that he knows how to deal with the fans in Houston as well as when James Harden rips on his dumb @s# for playing like a douche and still acting like a female on her menstrual cycle ……… all sensitive and nothing intelligent to say .
This NBA off season as been one of te most tedious and boring . Way too much hype over a number of players , whom we knew essentially , would either be staying with their teams or moving , to take and make more money .
So your boy , Urban Meyer is now looking to apportion blame elsewhere for te on and off-campus troubles of Aaron Hernandez while he was coaching the program and player . Is there any depth that the former coach won`t stoop to , while still coming off looking like a rat fink ###tard ?
I thought I had witnessed enough incompetency after the Ryan Bruan fiasco . But the MLB investigators are now sinking to even lower depths of ineptitude. The player accompanied by his agent and a lawyer met with league officials and investigators to discuss is possible involvement with Biogenesis .
Braun having refused to answer the questions he was subjected to , left the venue stating that this was another witch-hunt by MLB . Is Bud Selig really that much of an idiot not to realize his inaction has led to this current mess ?
I will say this. It’s refreshing to hear someone on a Dwight Howard team OTHER than Dwight Howard bitch about something.
I’m not convinced these two will be able to coexist yet it sounds like McHale’s going to give it a shot.
Hey, if Randolph and Gasol can get it done, then maybe there’s hope for Asik and Howard. Neither of them are really power forwards so one will have to play that position on both ends of the floor this season. We’ll see how that works.
If you think this NBA off-season was boring, just you wait. It’s the calm before the storm. Not only do some big names become available next summer but the upcoming draft will be the most highly anticipated in years.
Re: Urban Meyer, remember when people criticized him for not making Tim Tebow more NFL-ready? Well what about Aaron Hernandez. Part of a coach is winning ballgames but another part is molding young men into responsible members of society. Or has he forgotten that? Remember, he gets paid by wins, not degrees. Perhaps the NCAA should shoulder some blame as well.
Braun and the rest of his steroid-taking junkies will be going down soon, Al, unless of course Major League Baseball continues to cover up the entire process as they’ve always done.
Does he really have a Turkish interpreter? How do they communicate or practice?
OR…is that yr point?
I was kidding, M. A little artistic license, and I use that term very loosely.
I’m pretty sure the guy speaka de English but at least that line made for a nice visual.
My main point with the piece is that the biggest names in sport can now dictate where they go. It’s what professional sports has become. I’m okay with it but a lot of people aren’t.
Houston putting their foot down is a small step in the right direction, letting that team know who’s the boss. They’ll need to considering they just landed the biggest baby in professional basketball.
The Rockets should only trade Asik if someone blows them away with an offer they can’t refuse. Otherwise they may as well keep him for a few good reasons.
If he’s your backup then this helps keep Howard’s minutes at a reasonable number, and when they go big, they can go really big. Which will make them even better defensively.
The Lakers will be a mess this off season . They will be on the hook for over $30 million as part of the NBA luxury tax . Yet their fans are carrying on as if tings will be bright . Now the idiocy of 2014 and talks about LeBron and Kobe ? LBJ won`t be leaving South Beach unless it`s for another bachelor party in the city of Angels .
Hernandez was NFL ready but not necessarily for playing . It was NFL rent a thug week in 2010 when the NFL Draft took place .
In the midst of doing a piece on the NBA off-season , the fallout concerning the death of Odin Lloyd as well as Ryan Braun not wanting to talk to the MLB investigators .
Even at the advanced ages, I still think the Lakers have better players at almost every starting position. Granted, they’re old and injury prone, Dwight could only see the here and now and chose the easiest path…or what he perceived to be the easiest path to a ring.
Kinda like Shaq did after Miami, but at least Shaq was past his prime when he went ring chasing.
If the Dwightmare can’t understand the fundamental difference between playing for the Astros and the Lakers then he’s just not very bright to begin with. Sure, the Rockets look good with some good young players right now but is Michael retiring to play baseball? Because those asterisk laden gems are the only rings residing in H-town. Not to demean Hakeem, because he was great, but it’s the truth. The Lakers meanwhile will be able to reload when all the monster contracts come off the books next year…The fact that that numbskull was too dense to understand how the Lakers work…no, LIVE to win championships, only makes this indecision decision that much more hilarious.
He has stolen LeBron’s thunder as sports’ public enemy #1 and it will bring me great joy to watch him flame out in the playoffs for the next few years in the Astrodome while the Lakers build another dynasty sans Flight Coward.
Who will be center-piece that the Lakers build around for their next championship assault ?
D12 can`t handle the spotlight and the very fact that people are suggesting because of his stats it made him great , is simply nonsensical . Dwight Howard as no leadership qualities , and he has never been known to handle pressure , much less the fact he`s way too sensitive when constructive criticism is thrown his way .
Here is the piece in question .
Shut the fu#k up and let me finish !
I agree with all of that. They could use a nice spot up four man. Either way, that player is going to have to co-exist with Dwight which, as we’ve seen in recent years, isn’t the easiest thing to do.
The Lakers don’t impress me on paper either. What did they do to get better this off-season? They’re still a playoff team, maybe, depending on if and when and how healthy Kobe returns. That sure is a lot of money to spend for mediocrity.
Let’s keep it real here. I’m willing to wager the Rockets have a better regular season record than the Lakers. For one thing, they’re healthier. For two, they’re half their age.
I know I’m not the only one looking forward to that first match-up.
And I won’t go so far as to totally dis the Rockets organization. Baseball break or no baseball break, that Houston team would still have given Michael’s Bulls a run for their money, particularly if he was unmotivated enough after winning three straight to face ’em. It’s what makes the fairy tale of his Airness so great.
I don’t know who Dwight’s image consultant is but he probably doesn’t like him very much either.
So now news is coming out that Dwight didn’t foresee a hand-off of the torch from Kobe to him?
I can see where that would be a problem, probably not so much though if they had just gotten along.
Dwight handing off anything to anyone , is a big surprise even his ex baby mama .
ESPN`s Chris Broussard really needs to get himself a real job an actual job , that actually pays to be productive for forty ours a week . The guy remain an ingrate and a complete @ss . e is still banging tat drum tat LBJ will opt out in 2014 and make is way back to Cleveland . But e is now trying to suggest tat Kobe and e will link up in LA ? Please , the only way those two (Bryant LBJ) would link up, would be at a bachelor party or for the reading of Green Eggs-n-ham at a charity event for kids .
What gave you the impression that I wouldn`t rip on Bob Kraft of the Patriots ? I am not towing the party line on idiocy when it comes reprehensible acts of stupidity . Kraft , suggesting that he and the Patriots were duped by Aaron Hernandez is the biggest crock of fecal matter to come down since whenever .
Hernandez spent a number of years at Floria running amok bot on and off the field of play . And now he is suggesting that the franchise were not aware as to te player`s behavioral issues ? The NFL and their teams now need to be more proactive wen it comes to the sort of investigative procedures they undertake when delving into a players` background and simply not rely on what a college coach or their own scouts tells them .
I am sure that when you were hired , your employer asked for references amongst other direct information concerning your educational and employment history and background ? So why is it that the NFL does not apply the same principle ? Or is that they feel that the Wonderlic Test is simply good enough ? LOL, LOL ,LOL !!!
Two Broncos` front office executives have been busted for DUI in the past eight days . No suspensions by the NFL as of yet . Goodell , the tool and his alleged image concerns . Please , what a joke . Furthermore , there has been no action taken by owner Pat Bowlem or Jon Elway against the two employees in question . The absolute hypocrisy of the NFL on display for all to see .
Left you a follow up comment on that piece .
Shut the fu#k up and let me finish !
The guy who’s sitting in for Cowherd today is saying that LeBron, Kobe and Carmelo could all play together in Los Angeles after 2014. Have you ever heard of anything more ludicrous than that?
I guess the whole, sad Hernandez case makes us ask the question of how much responsibility should a team have in coaching and researching its player’s backgrounds. Look, I’m pretty sure the Patriots, like every other NFL organization, runs background checks on all its office personnel, so why not the people who actually represent their logo on the field?
Two Broncos DUIs and a Pats player too I just heard. Someone get these guys the number to a good taxi.
The Lakers may well be pulling down $200 million per year from their television contract . But I doubt that they will want to be paying anything in excess of $55 million a year in luxury taxes . Once again , who are these morons providing their so-called insights over at ESPN ? We should just be thankful that Fox Sports doesn`t cover the NBA by way of providing a broadcast coverage ! Can you imagine how idiotic their coverage would be ? It is bad enough having to put up with the bilge they call Fox News , with their Far & Balance doctrine and idiom , as well their moronic business analysts analysis on their Fox Business Channel . I will give credit were it`s due though , ESPN is now sinking to new levels of depravity and incompetence , while pretending to call it journalism ! Fox as a whole , not so much, as they can`t hit a home run by way of really providing in-dept analysis on anything without giving it a Conservative slant .
Kobe un-friended Dwight on Facebook ? After the events of Eagle , Colorado , I heard rumors that both Shaq and Rick Fox wanted to put their foot in Kobe`s rear end , as teir way of un-friending him also . Go figure .
Rockets would be foolish to trade Asik unless they get someone like Ryan Anderson in return. Of course, it would require a pick and/or another player along with Omer to acquire Anderson.
At least three teams are still better than Houston in the Western Conference but coaxing Howard into signing with the Rockets was a major coup.
I do like your Ryan Anderson idea but did he and Dwight get along when they played in Orlando?
That’s obviously something they’d need to take into consideration considering Dwight’s now on that team and keeping him happy will have to be a priority.