#1. Restoring the image of the Houston Rockets
With James Harden being a member of the Houston Rockets for eight seasons, the culture of the team has essentially been centered around him, which according to Tim MacMahon, an NBA reporter for ESPN, has been problematic. Harden’s image has never been received in a positive light due to his ball dominance, defensive effort at times and playoff shortcomings.
While many Houston Rockets fans feel the complete opposite of Harden as they should, it is no secret that the franchise has been the “butt of the joke” for many years.
With the team’s drastic turnaround from their 4-9 start, the national media has started to take notice in this team and the positive impact of the changes that occurred.
Anybody else watching how the Houston Rockets have been playing Inspiring and Winning basketball?! Btw tonight’s W made 6 in row!!! Carry on… #CULTURE
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) February 2, 2021
It is important for the team to continue to play well and to remain competitive, as this will restore their image in the eyes of the basketball world. Lord knows the city of Houston needs this, given the rough year sports teams in H-Town have faced with the Houston Astros cheating scandal, the Houston Texans’ mishandling of Deshaun Watson and James Harden’s antics prior to the start of the season.
On another important note, the team has taken steps forward to restoring their image by hiring a young talented African-American head coach, Stephen Silas. As an assistant for the Dallas Mavericks last year, Silas played an integral role in their historic offense.
The Rockets’ improved play is crucial for minority coaches like Silas, who aren’t always given ideal vacancies. It wouldn’t help that side of the argument if the Houston Rockets end up dealing some of their talented roster away.
The same logic can be applied with general manager Rafael Stone who has assumed the role after Daryl Morey’s departure. He has become only the 10th current black executive to hold the GM title in the NBA.
The Rockets would be perceived in a positive light for the first time in a very long time if they continue to remain in playoff contention and prospective players down the line will take notice. For this reason, the best move is to hold on to their key role players, as opposed to shipping them away.