In an exclusive interview for Space City Scoop, former Houston Rockets guard Terry Teagle talked Rudy T, McGrady vs. Harden, small ball and much more.
Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to interview the 1980 Southwestern Conference Player of the Year, 11-year NBA veteran, and former Houston Rockets guard Terry Teagle. In a phone interview on Wednesday, we talked about everything from playing in the TMC era to today’s evolving game.
Here’s what he had to say in our extended interview:
There were five seasons in which you played all 82 games, including three in a row, which is much different than how the league is played today. What do you think about the use of load management in today’s league?
I have no problem with it because players have to do what’s necessary to stay fresh. It’s all designed to keep guys fresh. I look at guys like Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James and James Harden and those guys log a lot of minutes during the regular season. So, naturally, the coaches are trying to make sure their stars are fresh throughout the postseason.
You played in an era where the 3-point shot wasn’t emphasized, to say the least. What are your thoughts on how the league has changed so drastically?
The current playing style is definitely different than when I played in the 80s and early 90s. Guys are pretty much shooting threes like we were shooting 2-pointers. Back when I was playing, that was more of a specialized skillset and more of a strategic gameplan, so it was used more as a weapon.
But we also had more of an inside-out game due to great 7-foot centers and 6-10 power forwards that were very skilled down low. So we utilized that a lot, but now the 3-point shot is a common thing.
You spent the first two years of your career on the Houston Rockets. What was that experience like?
When I came to the Rockets I was very excited because they had just come out of an NBA Finals appearance against Boston. My good friend Moses Malone had been on the team that year also and had a lot of great things to say about the Rockets, so I was excited.
The Rockets also had great players during each of my first two years, which were Calvin Murphy, Elvin Hayes, Robert Reid and Ralph Sampson, so I was surrounded by a lot of talent and really enjoyed my time there.
After being one of the five best scorers on the team as a rookie, you had a bit of a drop in minutes in year two. Was that difficult?
I guess I just didn’t fit in with what Bill Fitch wanted to do. I didn’t take it personally, though. He was the coach and I respected him so I didn’t have a bad attitude or anything like that.
The coaching staff was really great. We had Del Harris, Carroll Dawson and Rudy Tomjanovich, who were all on the staff, so I just tried to soak up as much as I could from those great coaches.
Next: Playing for Rudy T, George Karl