NBA insiders, and anyone with two eyes, consider the Houston Rockets have thrown within the towel and can spend the remainder of the season desperately clawing their method to the underside of the NBA standings, hoping to land a prime draft choose for subsequent yr.
Reportedly the Rockets are able to half methods with Victor Oladipo, Danuel Home, Sterling Brown and others in alternate for draft picks, expiring contracts or reward playing cards to Twin Peaks. An NBA official informed Bleacher Report, “I hold listening to they are going to (have a) fireplace sale.”
So they are going to break up a staff on a 13-game shedding streak and make it even worse on goal?
May as properly. The Rockets at the moment personal an 11-23 document and are capturing for his or her 14th consecutive loss Thursday night time in opposition to the Sacramento Kings. Solely two groups have a lousier document than the Rockets: the Pistons (10-26) and, God love ’em, the Timberwolves (7-29). Vegas oddsmakers pin the Rockets’ probabilities of making the playoffs this yr at lower than 1 p.c.
You would not know from this yr’s squad, however the Rockets are one of many NBA’s most constant profitable groups in current historical past. For the reason that flip of the millennium, the Rockets have had solely two shedding seasons, 2001-02 and 2005-06. They’ve had 14 straight profitable, at the least non-losing seasons – there was a relative 41-41 clunker in 2015-16. An entire technology of followers has by no means seen the Rockets in rebuilding mode.
The Rockets’ dedication to shedding can be examined tonight. The Kings have an nearly equally paltry 14-22 document and are gunning for a prime lottery choose, too. The Rockets cannot afford to get sloppy, make psychological errors and win.
If the Rockets actually need to lose, and go on a record-breaking shedding streak (present mark is 28 video games by the ’76ers between the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons), they’re going to should focus and hold their eye on the ball … because it clanks off the rim en route to a different double-digit defeat. The Rockets have misplaced by 10 or extra factors in 10 of their final 13 defeats in a row.
I’m certified to assist the Rockets on their journey of despair. Two instances, I hit the hardwood for the Washington Generals, whose staff picture must be subsequent to the phrase “losers” within the dictionary. The nightly patsies for the Harlem Globetrotters have been based in 1952. Since then, their document in opposition to the Globies is three wins and one thing like 17,000 losses. However who’s counting? The final time they beat the Globetrotters was in 1971. I think about they received a tongue-lashing within the locker room after that recreation.
For a few years, the Generals had a gimmick. As they crisscrossed America, they’d ask an area media kind in every metropolis to play as their “secret weapon.” Each instances they performed in Houston, I used to be the designated Washington Normal.
I met the Generals in the course of the afternoon and practiced with the staff on a transportable hoop within the area storage. They’d a few performs designed for me. I bear in mind coach Purple Klotz saying, “This is your uniform. You must give it again after the sport as a result of we want it for tomorrow night time in San Antonio.”
There was no likelihood I used to be returning my genuine, game-worn Generals uniform both time. Let the document present that I scored in each video games, together with a 3-pointer.
OK, my 3-pointer by no means went via the ring. They informed me to shoot the ball as excessive as I might and a Globetrotter caught it mid-flight. He was standing on one other Globetrotter’s shoulders and the referee referred to as goaltending. Hilarious. Rely it.
I additionally made two free throws regardless of Globetrotter “Candy Lou” Dunbar screaming at me and threatening to tug down my pants. I used to be warned that he may try this, so I had my pants tied tighter than a tourniquet.
Throughout follow the second yr, the Generals’ heart mentioned he could not play that night time as a result of he ate an excessive amount of fried hen on the bus to Houston and felt nauseous.
Anyway, listed here are 5 suggestions for the Rockets in the event that they need to lose out the remainder of the season, Generals-style.
1. Commerce the entire roster and signal a bunch of men who could not beat a pickup staff at Fonde Rec Heart on Sabine Road in Houston.
2. If LeBron James begins chasing the referee with a pail of confetti, simply stand to the aspect and let it occur.
3. If Luka Doncic instantly thinks he is enjoying a soccer recreation and steps off a 5-yard penalty in opposition to the Rockets, don’t problem the decision.
4. When James Harden covers the ball with sufficient Stickum to wallpaper Mar-a-Lago and does that dribbling between his legs bit, instruct the Rockets new 5 ft. 4-in. guard (he can be launched to the group as “Shorty”) to dive for the ball and miss it each time.
5. If Bradley Beal shoots a free throw and he is received a rubber band connected to the ball, it is a lane violation on the Rockets. Watch out, the subsequent ball might be stuffed with helium.
OK Rockets, what to do. Now go on the market and commit turnovers, shoot bricks, get T’d up, flop, violate COVID protocol. Do no matter it takes. Keep in mind it is a staff sport. Everyone has to do their share for the staff to tank a season.
In different phrases, simply hold doing what you are doing.