For a guy named "Solomon", Jerome is rapidly devolving from a thoughtful and witty journalist to a one-note hack job. Considering this city is already subjected to Richard Justice, it's almost too much to handle. Today's diatribe is yet another attempted hatchet job on Daryl Morey - albeit one disguised as a column on the hiring of Kevin McHale.
First things first, I am not a fan of the McHale hiring. I wanted Mario Elie. Even Dwane Casey would have struck me as a more inspired hiring. Nevertheless, McHale did fit my criteria - he's not a re-tread, he's highly respected by other players around the NBA, and he is someone who obviously gets along with our GM. Solomon, however, is taking the collective public "huh?" that has been uttered in response to the McHale hiring news... and he's run with it. It's rather shameful.
[Edit from Tom: What follows is even more shameful purely from the standpoint that Solomon supported the McHale hire just two days earlier. Okay, now keep going.]
To save you all a lot of time, here's the money quote from today:
But Morey is staking his future as Rockets general manager on it. If McHale, 53, fails, Morey should be job hunting along with him.
This is not exactly the kind of forward-thinking "split the baby" wisdom we should expect from our local journalists. It's conclusory, pessimistic and an unnecessary cheap shot. This should be a time for relentless optimism and support of the Rockets. They finally are out from under the McGrady/Yao salary cap mess. They have a lot of young, athletic talent at their disposal - be it for actual use on the court or as trade bait. The Rockets have an owner who wants nothing more than to win championships and an MIT educated general manager who has adapted quite nicely to the role in a short amount of time. The pieces are in place.
I ask of you, Jerome, name one player that Morey traded away that had a better career after the Rockets traded him away. The only possible answer is "Nicolas Batum" but he was an unknown and as an asset he brought us an unforgettable season of Crazy Pills. Can't fault Morey for that. And yet...
Alexander has put his franchise in the hands of Morey and allowed his GM to make all the player-personnel decisions and set the tone for coaching hires. The personnel choices have been hit-and-miss, but mostly hit.
Uhhhh, what? So you admit that most of Morey's transactions have been favorable to the Rockets, and yet the current mess is still his fault? I think by now we can all agree that you do not win rings without an elite player. Morey is doing everything he can to acquire an elite player. Everything. Solomon sounds like some of our old commenters who would constantly suggest we trade Yao straight-up for LeBron........ as if it were just as simple as that. But he does not stop there:
Alexander didn't go out and hire McHale. This is on Morey.
Morey underestimated the need for size on a team. He overestimated the ability of Yao Ming to stay healthy.
He underestimated the need for players to feel wanted. He overestimated how excited Adelman would be about his new-school approach.
He underestimated Tracy McGrady's and Trevor Ariza's lack of toughness and overestimated the desire for star players to relocate to Houston and the value of the Rockets' assets to other NBA teams.
Yao and McGrady were thrust upon him. Blame Carroll Dawson if you must blame someone. Trevor Ariza was a solid signing.... and he netted us Courtney Lee in the end. If you want to take a cross-sectional approach to your analysis, that's fine, but it just exposes how much Jerome needs to spin the facts. Morey has been on the job for four years... and the Rockets have improved the salary cap mess and he's stockpiled player assets that are the envy of the rest of the league. We only lack a Durant, LeBron, Rose or Howard. But the GMs that acquired each of those players will readily admit to being lucky there. If Morey could hoodwink another team to acquire an elite player, he would. All the evidence suggests he is more than capable of moving assets in a manner favorable to the Rockets.
Solomon, however, continues to deal in hypotheticals that have no foundation in fact or recent history.
I implore you, Jerome Solomon - just stop. Please return to being the insightful and interesting columnist you were before the Houston Chronicle hired you as a full-time staffer. Your one-man protest against Daryl Morey is nonsensical and makes you look petty and jealous. You should be above writing drivel like this.