This is not a call to arms, believe me, because Chandler Parsons has not killed anyone or sprayed a giant F*CK YOU into the Williams Tower (yet) and despite the media back-and-forth between the Rockets and Parsons and the Mavericks and Rockets, nobody probably REALLY hates anyone because the blame is thanks to nothing but incredibly high (and on one end, possibly faulty) ambition, but I'll be damned if there isn't just enough vitriol in this whole mess for the Rockets to have a new guy to really, really want to beat at least four nights a year, and friends, that is PHENOMENAL news.
We need a villain, because sports villains, at best, deliver unparalleled satisfaction upon defeat. They can also leave you so pissed off you want to start a riot. Please don't do that, but in the meantime, let's embrace the new reality:
Chandler Parsons is the Rockets' newest enemy No. 1. Maybe not for his former teammates (yet), but for the rest of us, Chandler has built a case to play the villain like nobody has before him. Mark Cuban can talk all he wants, but he can't play afterwards. If this season plays out in perfect comic book fashion, Chandler will only get better as a member of the Mavericks. He'll ascend to new heights as a player. He'll give us a thousand more reasons to hate him, because nothing makes for a good sports villain like a REALLY GOOD sports player.
Imagine if Charlie Conway left the Mighty Ducks for the Hawks. Then imagine if he went from being a really average hockey player (that's being generous) to an Adam Banks-level stud in no less than a few months. We want Chandler Parsons to live up to his contract. It will only make sending him home early in the playoffs THAT much more special.
We labeled Jason Terry as the "Rocket killer" and it was only because he played REALLY well against Houston (also we're very happy to have you onboard, Jet). But if you take that production and add a whole offseason full of middle fingers from Parsons to our city and to our franchise? I'm thinking this could make for the most entertaining chapter yet in the Rockets/Mavericks rivalry. It already spawned a worthwhile feature from ESPN's Marc Stein. And so far there has been much more than just Parsons to take into account (the Dwight Howard chase, the Battle for Gersson Rosas), but Chandler is the only character in the story who meant THIS much to one side (my hands are above my head), only to fully, publicly embrace the other while making every effort to passive-aggressively slam the former.
I realize how much has been made of the Cuban vs. Morey battle these past few months. But we can't watch them take it out on each other (and if we can, it will be because TMZ is on the world's longest winning streak). We can, however, get treated to a Rockets-Mavericks fight to the death on the floor, and I think Chandler's presence is going to push it in that direction.
It's easy to wish Parsons were still a Rocket. It's not his fault he's not. But can we stop pretending the Parsons Days were worth capitalizing, because when it's all said and done, we didn't win anything. Chandler doesn't leave Houston with any rings or any measurable success to speak of. He leaves with what's clearly some sort of Napoleon complex, begging for the spotlight when the spotlight often finds you anyway if you earn it. But you know what? The fact that we're bringing all of this up and taking it somewhat personally means we care a little bit, too.
So let's use that and channel it and give the man what he wants. Let's hope the Mavericks succeed with their newest puzzle piece. And let's hope the Rockets find a way to beat him. You could argue no team in the NBA really hates Houston. They haven't won enough in key moments in the past twenty years to really piss anyone off. This could be the Rockets first chance to make it personal in quite some time. Let's not let it go unnoticed. Instead, let's embrace reality: Chandler Parsons is the new Enemy No. 1, and the storytellers among us wouldn't have it any other way.