Nov 28, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) reacts during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Oklahoma City won 120-98. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
After two days of an entire city blasting the local football team for a late season meltdown and fighting depression because no one in that organization has the cojones to make the necessary changes, it is comforting to know that Les Alexander, Daryl Morey, Kevin McHale, and the rest of the Houston Rockets organization are of a different ilk. They have never been afraid to make the big move and take risks. It may be difficult to lure big time free agents to this blue collar town, but that doesn’t stop Les and Daryl from trying. There is a reason that Les’s Houston Comets won four championships and that his Rockets won two. Les is an extremely interesting person. If you haven’t read about his background and personal life, I recommend it. It is reasonable to assume that Les hired Daryl and Kevin partially because they are of the same mind.
This brain-trust was not afraid to trade the entire team away and acquire a group of youngsters who are giving the city legitimate hope in just one season. They even found the perfect leader for this gang of underrated, hungry workhorses; James Harden. After watching a fat, dopey-eyed Matt Schaub standing on the sidelines with his hands in his jersey while his defense tried to save his job, it is exhilarating to watch a guy like Harden who keeps his mohawk clean, his beard beastly, his body in-shape, a fire in his eyes, and flat out doesn’t give a damn.
This attitude is infectious. Jeremy Lin‘s hair is looking very close to a mohawk. Hell, I even got a mohawk for the first time in my life last month, and plan on keeping it. Chandler Parsons even goes longer between shaves now. The Toyota Center crowd is chock-full of fake beards. More importantly, the entire team seems to have taken on an aggressive identity and appears to enjoy being around each other, on the court and off. It is certain that there will be ups and downs this year (including the current 3-game losing streak) while they learn how to win consistently, but I feel like I am watching a contending team develop and that is exciting.
As these bad boy Rockets attempt to end their losing streak against another group of brash upstarts in the Los Angeles Clippers tonight, they will need to take things to the next stage. The scouting report is out on the Rockets and you can bet that the Clippers will clog the paint with big athletic bodies and try to ground the Rockets. The Clippers are probably more equipped to do that than the previous three opponents were. Hopefully Terrence Jones can continue his development, push the other bigs and help get the stops needed to fuel the fast-breaking Rockets. Regardless, if the Rockets stall out, I still feel confident that Les and company won’t hesitate to make any necessary changes. I knew there was a reason I chose to buy a sweet, old-school, ketchup-and-mustard Rockets t-shirt for my Christmas present and not a certain red-white-and-blue one.