Houston Rockets: The Antithesis of Professionalism

by / 2 Comments / 105 View / July 28, 2014

In the world of sports today, General Managers and owners of teams tend to justify their player transactions with the phrase: sports are businesses. The NBA is no exception to that mantra due to the capitalistic motivations that drive the sport and also expand it to the corners of the globe.

But even in a competitive atmosphere, which is professional sports, and the pressing need to sell tickets or win championships, there is a professional way of conducting business. One key example of this archetype of a “class act”is the San Antonio Spurs, who bring together pieces of humble backgrounds and help them rise to the occasion on the biggest stage known as the playoffs. Historically, teams of this professional mindset enjoy the greatest success, which becomes evident upon examination of the Celtics, Lakers, and Trail Blazers.

The Rockets, however, have become notorious for ruthlessly treating players not named Dwight Howard and James Harden as expendable parts. This aura of unprofessionalism stems from the top which, in this case, is unproven, inexperienced, and dogmatic GM Daryl Morey. Morey, who has never been able to emulate the successes of his peers like Pat Riley or Mitch Kupchak, is only fixated on adding additional star power via free agency to form a top three combo, while neglecting to recognize the existing talent on the roster and trying to implement them into the playbook.

But despite the ambitious yet foolish management style promoted by Morey, what’s more degrading towards the Rockets brand is the manner in which the management and team treats players that depart through either free agency or trade. Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons, two valuable contributors who remained loyal to the Rockets for the entirety of their tenure there, were met with harsh words and derogatory remarks by Howard, Harden, and Morey, such as statements implying that the team is better off without them.

Recently, Harden expressed that Howard and himself were the cornerstones of the franchise and that everyone else on the team is merely a role player or piece. This patronizing and condescending attitude permeating this franchise has blinded management from improving the status quo and not overhauling it. The Spurs and Thunder sit atop the Western Conference, not because they attempted to sign a marquee player every summer, but because they were patient with the talent they had.

The faster the Houston Rockets get over its fixation on obtaining star power and start to build up the supplemental personnel to surround the core stars will it begin it truly embody a winning culture. Yes, the Heat model worked for a while, but in order to build a dynasty, patience and time are two key components to sustained success.

 

References:

Image Credit: Schipul, Ed. “Rockets Playoffs at Toyota Center.” Flickr: Creative CommonsFlickr, n.d. Web. 28 July 2014. <https://flic.kr/p/6mBtvF>. 

  • Anye

    I have to disagree with a lot of what you stated in this article. First of all you compare the Houston Rockets to the Spurs and the Thunder when it comes to continuity. One thing you fail to mention is the Spurs and the Thunder both drafted their best players (Duncan, Ginobli, Parker) for SA nd (Westbrook, Durant, Ibaka) for OKC. Houston however traded for Harden and signed Howard in free agency. If Houston were patient with the talent it had Harden and Howard would not be there in the first place. Second of all you compare Morey to his “peers” like Riley and Kupchak, veterans who have been in the NBA for decades. Morey is in his third year as Houston’s GM. Thirdly you characterized Harden and Howard’s words as “derogatory”. Are you kidding? Instead of seeing the comments as derogatory, you can look at the comments as leaders trying to draw attention from the past and expressing confidence in the talents that they do have in the present. Why should Howard and Harden sob about Parsons? They need to move on. Fourthly, you failed to mention that Parsons SIGNED and offer sheet with Dallas that pays him $15 Million. Although Parsons has played well for Houston, he has not proven he is worth $15 mill. If I were Morey, I damn sure would not have payed him that amount. You also failed to mention that the Rockets signed Trevor Ariza a better defender and three point shooter than Parsons for less money. At the end you stated that “patience and time are two key components to sustained success”. How about we give Morey, Howard, and Harden some patience and time. I understand your frustration as a rockets fan but I feel like you didn’t cover their situation from an impartial point of view.

  • Observer

    This article is so bad UGT should retract it.