Omer Asik was back in uniform Tuesday, and ready to play after leaving the team because of a reported “illness”. Since Dwight Howard said he was joining the Houston Rockets in July, the Asik trade rumors have been swirling, and he hasn’t made the situation any better by requesting a trade. General Manager Daryl Morey has even went as far as denying his trade request, unless the Rockets can get an impact player in return.
Nov 5, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Houston Rockets center Omer Asik (3) dunks against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports
While Omer Asik does have a reason to be upset, he does not have a reason to be unprofessional. He is not the only player on the roster who has had to sacrifice for the sake of the team. Jeremy Lin came into last season (before the James Harden trade) looking to be the franchise player of the Rockets. Not only did the Harden trade derail that, but coming into this season Lin is much improved, and yet accepts the role of coming off the bench for the better of the team. Understanding the Lin and Asik are two different players, they both share the same situation. Asik did come to Houston to become a full time starter, which is the main reason why he left the Chicago Bulls in the first place. However he does need to realize that this time around, he is not backing up a player like Joakim Noah. Instead, he is backing up an all-star and arguably the NBA’s best big man in Dwight Howard.
Chandler Parsons commented on Asik’s absence from the team:
“It would be a frustrating thing. He had a great year last year and to bring in someone over him has to be a little frustrating. It is part of the business and you have to be a professional about it and come to work every day. He is on the Rockets so he has to act like that and come to play and come to win. “Yeah, he has been fine with me. I stay out of it. Obviously he is frustrated right now, but as his teammate I just try to be encouraging and making sure his head is in the right place because we are going to need him throughout the season. Greg Smith goes down, Marcus Camby has surgery so he is going to play at lot of minutes so I don’t know what he is so upset about. He has to come out here, perform and be a professional about it.”
Now with Asik back on the team, and most importantly on the bench accepting his new role; how will the Rockets fair? The team plays the Boston Celtics Tuesday night at the Toyota Center, and are looking to go 8-4 in this young NBA season. Only time will tell, and I would not be surprised to see Asik moved before the February trade deadline.