The Houston Rockets have had their fair share of skeptics and naysayers over the years, ranging from Bill Simmons to Brian Windhorst to Max Kellerman and on (the list goes on but I think you get the point). Perhaps one of the most consistent anti-Rockets media personalities has been ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, who has had an endless supply of Rockets vitriol over the years.
Don’t remember? Let’s take a trip down memory lane (although this will surely be cringe-worthy).
“The Rockets like to say we were a hamstring away from beating the Golden State Warriors. They were up in Game 6, they were up in Game 7.
How can you not come back the next year and not have that fire to do it this year instead?”
Rachel has had alot more to say about the Rockets coming up short in 2017-18 due to Chris Paul‘s hamstring.
“I’m kind of done with the ‘we were a hamstring away.’ I think you lose the ‘we were a hamstring, one game away’ thing when this past year you had a chance against the Kevin Durant-less Warriors in a decisive game where Steph Curry didn’t score a point in the first half and you couldn’t close that deal?
I’m done with the hamstring away.”
Or what about overreacting to a regular season game in 2018-19 against the Utah Jazz?
“You know that face that a kid makes in class when the teacher calls on them and he hasn’t done his homework? That’s what the Rockets looked like last night.
The Houston Rockets were called on last night and instead of coming through, the entire team looked like it would rathered have been literally anywhere else. It is time we start acknowledging there is clearly more going on here with Houston.
Something much deeper has gone wrong, something with the spirit and the soul of the team. And while I’m absolutely sure we will see Daryl Morey make a trade before February, I’m not sure if that’s going to fix it.
The Rockets had every reason last night to make a statement about who they still are, to walk on to that floor and show what they can still do. Instead, all they looked like was a team which couldn’t wait to walk off of it.”
Or how about implying that Russell Westbrook and James Harden had friction in their relationship simply because Harden wasn’t at Westbrook’s 32nd birthday dinner? Or when she was quick to judge the Rockets’ bubble situation with Danuel House?
I could surely go on but you likely want to know why any of this matters at this juncture.