I needed a pick-me-up, and I think some people here do as well. Here goes.
So, I was reading Richard Justice's new piece in the Chronicle (or Comicle, as some call it) last week and saw a statement that sent up red flags in my brain. Here it was (link):
Successful organizations are built on the simple foundation of good ownership and a competent general manager. That's where the Rockets separate themselves from the Texans and Astros. Leslie Alexander is a very good owner. He surrounds himself with smart people, and he's willing to spend money on players.
Now, I guess I can't refute the statement. Justice has always advocated the Rockets' organization over those of the Lastros and Texans. I like Daryl Morey. I like Sam Hinkie (really cool dude). Gersson Rosas knows what he's doing. And Les does indeed spend money, but only if he knows that Morey can still get under the luxury tax by the trade deadline.
But there's more to this statement that meets the eye. Maybe it's because I'm reading The Lost Symbol, but my mind is in super-analytical mode right now. And there's one fact that stands out.
Richard Justice says the same crap over and over again.
"Duh?" you say? Well, come with me to a magical place after the jump where we break down Justice's infatuation with one Leslie Alexander.
What follows are direct quotes about Les Alexander from Richard Justice's Rockets-based pieces from his online archive. No other statements about Alexander were made besides the block quotes below. All dates are also links to said posts. None of the quotes have been changed in any way, shape, or form except to clarify pronouns.
Things are tense around Toyota Center when the Rockets aren't playing well. Leslie Alexander isn't like the other owners in town. He's not a good loser, and when things are going badly, he demands answers. So for a day at least, things are a bit easier.
So Justice thinks Les is unlike other owners in Houston. He's right. So what? He said it twice within the same week. Big deal, AK. Get a life.
One other thing about Leslie Alexander. He wants to win. That is, he wants to win badly. And if it costs a few extra bucks to win, so be it. If you want the real back story behind this Yao Ming news, it's more proof that Leslie Alexander is a terrific owner.
The Rockets aren't interested in just being respectable. They want to win, and they have an owner who has put the right people in place and is willing to spend the money to make it happen. For that, we are lucky.
Here in the same piece, Justice thinks it's so critical that we know Les likes to spend money that he mentions it twice.
The Rockets have an owner who'll spend to win, and that's their advantage.
They've got an owner in Leslie Alexander who is 100 percent committed to winning, to spending whatever it takes and to doing things right.
Just one question: is Alexander willing to spend money?
Last year, Leslie Alexander gave [Morey] the go-ahead to spend $6 million on three second-round picks: Chase Budinger, Jermaine Taylor and a Euro.
Ignoring the fact that, "and a Euro" sounds a little racist, here's more praise about Les spending money.
The Rockets are different. The Rockets have a great owner in Leslie Alexander. He hires smart people instead of friends of friends. He's willing to spend money. He's absolutely everything a professional sports owner should be and then some.
Wow. Keep it in your pants Richard.
As you know, the Rockets have a great owner in Leslie Alexander. The Rockets try to do things right. The Rockets don't want to be respectable. The Rockets want to be champions.
Alexander constantly challenges them, pushes them. He wants the bar set high. It's interesting to watch them hire people. They're not like some other teams. They don't go out and hire their buddies. They go out and try to get the best person, even a person that might challenge the way they've done things in the past. I know I sound like I'm doing a marketing campaign for the franchise, but in a pond of mediocrity and settling for average, the Rockets are a bright and shining star.
We get it. Les Alexander. Great owner. Spends money. Hires smart people.
Incidentally, I saw the Red Rowdies carrying an In Morey We Trust sign. Now that ain't right. That's my phrase. I want the Rockets printing shirts, and I want a dozen of those shirts plus a small fee if you know what I mean and I think you do.
Actually, I've refined the phrase slightly to curry favor with a special someone. It's now In Morey and Les We Trust. Without Les, there's no Morey. The Rockets are the smartest sports franchise I've been around, and it all starts with Leslie Alexander. When the Rockets have an opening for an executive or a strength coach or anything else, they don't go out and try to find someone who has friends in the organization, which is what the Astros and Texans seem to do. The Rockets try to find the best possible person for the job. Quite a concept.
Plus, I really want Leslie to like me. Memo to Red Rowdies: update your sign. Memo to Rockets: print those shirts.
Now you're just getting creepy, Richard.
[Morey's] ultimate vision is a team capable of playing deep into the playoffs in 2011, and every move he has made the last year has been aimed at getting the Rockets to that point. There were moves he could have made that might have made the Rockets better this season, but this franchise's goal is not to be respectable or just be pretty good. It's to win a championship. That's the mandate from Leslie Alexander. Others talk of doing the right things. Alexander does them.
Apparently, Alexander just stopped global warming and starvation in Africa. On to cancer!
And with the game's economics being what they were and Leslie Alexander being willing to spend, [Morey would] probably be able to trade into position to get an impact player in the draft.
Where does Les get all this money from again? Oh yeah, China. And apparently he doesn't keep any of it. He just spends it all. That's why there's no danger of the NBA going into a lockout. Oh wait...
I'm done. Those are just from the last 12 months. Trust me, I could keep going. But the question I have to ask: has the guy ever met Les Alexander? There is not even one quote in any of his pieces from the Greatest Owner to Walk the Earth. I like that Les is our owner, but not that much. Even we have a line with our Daryl Morey love. At least, I think we do.