Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  36 responses

Trying to Stay Positive in Houston

by Marcel Mutoni

The news, though not entirely shocking (all things considered), hit Rockets fans like a punch to the gut. The reality is as follows: Yao Ming’s career could be done, or at the very least, gravely affected. So, now what?

Well, you begin to plan for a future whose only certainty is its unpredictability. The lone consolation, as the Houston Chronicle details, may be that the Rockets are in fine position to make noise some time down the line:

If you’re looking for good news, this is it. No team is better positioned to withstand the loss of a Yao Ming than the Rockets.They may not have a single major contract obligation after next season when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Bosh and other premier players are set to be free agents.

Keeping that financial flexibility suddenly is [GM Daryl] Morey’s first priority during a nightmarish offseason. If he can trade for a player worth a long-term investment, he’ll do it. Otherwise, we’ll see a small, fast, scrappy team next season…They’ve got a good, young nucleus of players, and a year from now, they’ll have the money to make an impact acquisition. On a sad, confusing, frustrating day, those things will have to be enough.

Those are not exactly the kind of words that get a fanbase fired up for an upcoming season.

For Rockets supporters — people who have by now grown accustomed to all kinds of heartbreak — that’s as good as it gets. Alas.

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  • riggs

    chris bosh is coming to houston.

  • http://ballislife.com Moose

    This is really bad news for Houston and Yao. I don’t want to say it, but if his career isn’t over, I think that this will hit him hard enough (no pun intended) to make him close to irrelevent when/if he does return.

  • Fat Lever

    Yea, I could see Bosh going to Houston. Isn’t he from TX?

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Bosh is from Texas (Dallas), so it’s not unlikely riggs. Definite change of weather haha. We need a centre though.
    In short – I think we’re pretty fu*ked right now. In order for us to have that extra cap room, we have to let Ron go. That means NO Ron, NO Tracy AND NO Yao for the season (basically).
    Everyone else is cool though, I guess they can stay. If the Rockets run, and I mean RUN the whole season, Landry can play the 5 with Chuck Hayes (LOL) and Scola. But they’re 6’7, 6’6, and 6’8/9 respectively. At least the Suns had Amare at 6’10.
    This is bad… really fu*king bad. I might have a more positive oulook in a few days, but not now. Not right now.

  • D12FSU

    $10 says Marcin Gortat (aka, THE POLISH HAMMER!!) is houstons starting C next season

  • http://www.hoopsmanifesto.blogspot.com Jeff Fox

    I was calling for Houston to end the TMac/Yao era even before this was announced.

  • T Money

    Wow. This sucks for Yao. One of the classiest dudes in the league.

  • AlbertBarr

    cosign T Money

  • shaqsbestfriend

    Man even with Yao the Rockets were garbage anywayz!overrated and poorly coached…can we confirm shaq is still the best center in the league now?

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    They need to get rid of Ron. Fast. He’s not someone you want on a rebuilding team where there are no veteran leaders to keep him in check. He might shoot under 30% from the field jacking up all kind of crazy shots. Battier doesn’t really make sense either on a team that’s not contending. He was completely useless in Memphis. Intangibles are meaningless on a crappy team, they need talent.

  • Dagga

    they need to make a trade for a superstar or future one like amare stoutmire and they have the pieces to do so

  • Ole M

    Start saving up for John Wall.

  • PArsons

    If the Rockets didn’t have bad luck they’d have none at all. Injuries aside this ten on paper would be ready for the top teir of the league, it’s just a shame the TMac and The Great Wall couldn’t put it together for regular playoff/seasons at the same time.

  • Franko


  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    Michael Curry just got fired!!!!

  • http://www.sprint.com/pre dma

    rockets will be the magic team that went 41-41 with darrell armstrong and pat garrity.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    Okay, Slam, you’re following the Follower! Report on Curry fired.

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    You heard it here first!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Oh man… I didn’t think the Yao injury was THIS serious. I still hope that he can make a recovery by All-Star break. The Rockets will be fine.
    @ Hursty: If the Rockets let Ron and/or Yao go, they’re done for.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Z: Umm Ron Artest is a great player. Calm down, its not that serious yet. The Rockets HAVE talent. They just need the guys to get healthy. Yao might have to sit this season out, but at least he’ll be fully recovered. That means no more international ball for him. MAYBE he will be back even by All-Star break, or the playoffs.
    Even without Yao Ming the Rockets are a 4-7 seed team; that’s how deep our team is.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    It pains me to say it, but I do think that T-MAC is the one that has to go. Its harder to find a great center than a great guard/swingman in this league. Its not like the Rockets can land Dwight Howard now. KEEP YAO.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    It pains me to say it, but I do think that T-MAC is the one that has to go. Its harder to find a great center than a great guard/swingman in this league. Its not like the Rockets can land Dwight Howard now. KEEP YAO!

  • http://dsfkl.com Jukai

    Teddy-the-Bear: They’re talking about bone grafts, dude. Yao will probably never be the player he could have been.

  • Jnos

    This is all chinas fault making yao carry that big ass flag in the olympics

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Actually….seeing Houstons, gritty, tough fight it out undersized team work all season could make them one of my new 2nd favourites…!
    Resign Artest and let him get some stat line!

  • horsey

    nice of google to take down that story after it was shown to be completely false. at least they kind of own up to mistakes?

  • ktokyo

    speaking of Shaq, anyone see that video of Shaq lip-syncing to that Akon song? He’s actually crying. you can see tears going down his cheek. I’m not sure what to make of it?

  • niQ

    rebuilding time.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    Clutch-your heart-City. Stay up Hursty.

  • http://www.nba.com JE

    Who would’ve thought that Yao and Mutumbo would both have the same last season?

  • max

    what if… yao retired now, the rockets would have a whole bunch of cap space, and if yao gets healthy again in like a few years, they just sign him again (or not)

  • http://sjsu.edu davidR

    Oww Ming. hope you get better big guy

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    The thing is, the Rockets haven’t even officially released reports on Yao’s health. So we all just need to take a step back from this and wait. Why are we talking about career-ending NOW? We still need to know if he’s going to play towards the later half of next season, or the playoffs. This is why the offseason feels so long, because the only news stories we get are from “unidentified sources”.

  • DG

    dag houston loses yao and dikembe….time to beg the dream to come out of retirement

  • ripcity

    Uhhh… do people really still think that Shaq is the best center in the L? He’s a 37-year-old who’s only still playing because of the Suns’ med staff. Now that Yao is potentially ruined, that opens up space for D HOWARD!!!!!!!!!

  • http://slamonline Blaze

    T-mac is the most overrated guy in the league. He is an average player who had a lot of potential, but never stayed healthy long enough to live up to it. He doesn’t even like basketball? Fine, the basketball gods dont care for him either. I think he would have been best off never getting greedy and leaving the raps. Imagine him and Carter in their early 20s on the same team.