When someone writes you off so much it becomes insulting, it’s just an opportunity to make them eat their words.
“Just not good enough”.
That’s how superstar James Harden described his former Houston Rockets franchise a few weeks ago in a press conference for what would be one of his last games for the Texan team.
It may as well have been an exit interview.
Harden may have it all now in Brooklyn with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Forming quite possibly the biggest three of all-time. Yet what he ended up leaving in the Cosmic City of NASA was far from grounded and more than enough.
Chris Paul. They didn’t get along.
Old Oklahoma friend, Russell Westbrook. They didn’t get along.
Russ didn’t like all the all-night partying of James. Let’s see how much Thunder buddy Kevin does.
When the Rockets traded up for John Wall from Washington for Westbrook fans thought this would be another start for one of the few franchises in this association to have a ring around their fingers like saturn. A new start for their franchise face with the beard too. One on the cusp of legendary ranks like his former team is a few ‘chips and a dynasty away from storied status.
Remember Hakeem? It was all a dream like Drexler and Barkley. The original NBA championship in the clutches of Robert Horry.
But for as great as Harden is, this latest Houston team just wasn’t good enough for him. John Wall hadn’t played in 18 months and who knew how good he could still be?
John Wall, that’s who!
Running through all sorts of last namesakes like the city of Washington, this John seems to have not lost a step since the days computers had his outrunning cheetahs. OK, that might be too much, but the former Wildcat still has claws. He’s not a former great that’s stepped into the rejuvenation machine like the ‘Big Shaqtus’, Shaq in the rising Phoenix days. He’s just a superstar whose come back from injury successfully…like Clipper Paul George for the Los Angeles Times headlines.
Then there’s his UK alumni in blue.
It’s all about that Kentucky connection.
Ever since former King DeMarcus Cousins got injured in the Big Easy, his career has gone from hype to doubt like so many who take to Twitter like they have a job in post-game analysis or league analytics. In New Orleans he and Anthony Davis formed the deadliest and most formidable front-court duo on the scouting report paper since David Robinson and Tim Duncan in San Antonio. So much so AD rocked his zero jersey in an all-star game Cousins missed in the pairs future of Los Angeles (class act).
Even last year the Lakers brought DeMarcus who now has a ring (class act number two), to back-up or play alongside Davis on their campaign for a championship. The injury that kept Boogie out of the wonderland of a dream team, dynasty starting five with Durant and the Golden State Warriors (save one great game in the Finals) the season prior, also kept him on pine and in pinstripes for all of last year.
People thought he was done. Turns out with him, Davis, his replacement Dwight Howard and the energy of now Cavalier JaVale McGee — the Lakers had one of the biggest front-court rotations ever.
On Saturday for Houston, Cousins had 28 points, 17 rebounds and 5 assists. Last night he had 19 points, 11 rebounds and 5 steals…STEALS. That’s a big man coming off injury that’s still getting 20 and 10’s. Can you relate? Like SLAMonline tweets, “that’s all-star numbers” right there.
With two ‘cats clawing away at what’s left, the Houston Rockets may be a long way from the post-season, but they are also about as “washed” as college dorm room clothes. After Wall led his new team against his old 107-88, everyone in Washington including former back-court ‘House Of Guards’ brother Bradley Beal showed respect.
Oh yeah and they also got this other guy in the Harden trade. Victor Oladipo. You may have heard of him.
He likes to run too.
Sounds like a big-three to me.
The fact is, in addition they still have former Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon and sneaker king PJ Tucker, who despite trade rumors looking at a Raptor reunion is clocking Morris Peterson iron-man status. It’s just like Houston’s very own Slim Thug in baby blue like their City Edition once said. “H-Town stomp you to the beat. H-Town stomp you to the concrete.”
Get set to play with this playground team of underdogs ready to give you problems on the hardwood.
Hey, if Phoenix and Denver surprised people out West last year, Houston can too.
You ready to rock with these Rockets?
7 wins and 9 losses might not exactly be .500, but it’s nowhere near the all-star mid-season break either. And it looks like this team that is now the NBA’s number three in defense has that many guys who could suit up mid-February.
Then they may just meet an old teammate who will see just how good they really are.
Now is that enough for you?