Former Houston Rockets guard throws shade at Tari Eason

A former Houston Rockets guard doesn't hold Tari Eason in high regard.
A former Houston Rockets guard doesn't hold Tari Eason in high regard. / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages

Former NBA players have a lot to say about the NBA.

That's their right. Firstly, everyone is entitled to an opinion. Beyond that, having played in the NBA is an exceedingly impressive accomplishment. It earns you the right to talk about the league.

That doesn't mean that everything a former player says will be sensible. Sometimes, former players spout nonsense. For example, former Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers recently discussed Houston's young core.

For some reason, he's a bit low on Tari Eason.

Former Houston Rockets guard dismissive of Eason

There is is. Rivers says he doesn't put Eason in the same group as the rest of the Rockets' young core. Strange. Why not?

Here's a theory - former players bias towards skill at the expense of impact. They admire fellow players who have mastered ball-handling, shot creation, etc.

Of course, those are valuable skills. Star players matter most in the National Basketball Association. With that said, any worldview that minimizes impactful role players is a flawed worldview.

Eason is an integral part of the Rockets' young core

Eason missed the majority of 2023-24 with an injury. In 2022-23, he ranked 49th in the NBA in Offensive Rebound percentage. Here's the fun part: every other player in the top 50 was a big. Eason was the best rebounding wing in the NBA.

Meanwhile, he was fifth in the NBA in steal percentage (2.6%). Let's look at a list of players who were in the top 50 in both Offensive Rebound percentage and steal percentage in 2022-23:

-Tari Eason

That's the list.

Houston Rockets wing is integral to young core

If we were petty, we'd point out that Eason is likely already a more impactful NBA player than Rivers ever was...


Productions takes a lot of different shapes and sizes in the NBA. Offensive creators are the most valuable players, but everyone can't be an offensive creator.

There's a diminishing return with those players. There are only so many possessions in a game, and so the usage can only be divided to a certain extent. Typically, teams seek to find the best two or three offensive creators they can, and surround them with players like Tari Eason:

Whether Rivers puts him in that group or not.