Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta seems to be one of the only people happy about the franchise’s historically bad season. This season’s Rockets posted the third-lowest win percentage and win totals in franchise history along with the second-worst offensive rating relative to league average.
The good news, for everyone else involved with the worst season since the 1982-83 season, is that the boss is happy which means everyone’s job is a whole lot safer. Fertitta even went as far as to say that he feels good about Rafael Stone, the Rockets’ general manager, and Stephen Silas, the Rockets’ head coach.
“I never thought I could feel this good when I’ve been so upset about losing. But when I look at all the draft picks that we have and the future, I’m just happy. I know it’s unusual to feel this good with your coach and your general manager, but I do” – Tilman Fertitta
The Rockets’ future is almost certainly brighter than its present, it would be hard not to be, but after eight successive playoff appearances, a drop off of this magnitude is jarring, especially considering the history of the franchise. Even though the Rockets missed the playoffs in three straight seasons from 2009-10 to 2011-12 those teams managed to win more games than they lost each season.
It hadn’t been since 2005-06 since the Rockets posted a losing record and the franchise hasn’t had two consecutive losing seasons since 1982-83 and 1983-84. Needless to say, the Rockets, as an organization, have been a model of consistency and competence and with that their fans have grown accustomed to a certain level of basketball.
So it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that some Rockets’ fans don’t share the same feelings as Mr. Fertitta since they don’t profit from NBA revenue sharing and the actual on-court product is what matters to them. If Fertitta wants to keep the front office and coaching staff intact that’s his prerogative but the question remains, have Rafael Stone and Stephen Silas earned that type of leeway?
Next: Did Rafael Stone earn another season?