It's Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday. The time to eat more than your fill, drink more than is socially acceptable, watch football and gather with your family.
This year, I'm thankful for the opportunity to manage what has been my favorite Rockets blog on the Internet since I knew there was such a thing as a sports blog.
I'm thankful for a staff that writes thoughtfully, writes well and writes passionately. We have a mix of blog OGs -- like BD, grungedave, Xiane and Tom Martin that still contribute, bless their souls -- and newer writers, like Matt Rothstein, Mike de Moor, 3ptstheHardenWay and Ryan Dunsmore. I'm thankful for ak2themax for writing the best game previews around, and doing it with ruthless efficiency, for Max Croes, who continues to be a crucial part of the staff from the Last Frontier, and for Abel Prado, providing us excellent coverage of RGV, something no other Rockets site can claim.
I'm thankful for Patrick Harrel, who graciously passed me the baton and is mercifully still hanging around. He was a terrific steward of TDS and helped make the site what it is.
Friends, family, yadda yadda. I'm really, truly thankful for Hakeem Olajuwon and James Harden. The Dream is the reason I became a Rockets fan, after watching him tear up the Knicks in the 1995 NBA Finals, then reading this book when I was 6 years old.
After that, I was in. I was in for the pajama jersey-Charles Barkley-Scottie Pippen era. I was in for the Steve Francis-Cuttino Mobley era, the T-Mac and Yao era and the awkward in-between era before the modern day Rockets.
This year, I was given the greatest birthday present imaginable from my wonderful girlfriend: a 1996 Dream Team Hakeem Olajuwon jersey. It is hanging on my wall. Less than two weeks later I took the job as managing editor of The Dream Shake.
Now, the Rockets are 12-3 and have what appears to be their best shot at a championship since I was reading Living the Dream. That's thanks to Daryl Morey, James Harden, Dwight Howard, Patrick Beverley, Trevor Ariza, Big Papa, D-Mo, T-Jones and the whole team. Thanks, Rockets, for being great. Look forward to watching you, rooting for you and writing about you for years to come.
I asked the rest of TDS' staff to say what they're thankful for. Here's what they said:
grungedave: Daryl Morey; James Harden when he's not playing Hero Ball; that Rafer Alston is no longer a member of the Rockets; that Yao Ming was always a Rocket, even if his career was truncated; that Robert Horry is a basketball player, not a baseball player, and is therefore still eligible for the Hall of Fame; that I am not a fan of the Utah Jazz; that Adam Silver is a better commissioner than Roger Goodell (or David Stern); and that everyone can now watch the Rockets on TV (even though I had Comcast/CSN the whole time).
But really, I'm just thankful for JJ Watt.
Xiane: I'm thankful the Rockets can be watched by Houston, that League Pass exists, that I have a place to talk about the Rockets. I'm thankful for my family, friends and all the love in my life.
BD34: I'm thankful that this Facebook trope gets to be a main page article. I'm also thankful that I hate nearly every single one of you and that, my friends is a mark of the quality of person you are. I'm also thankful for the opportunity I've had to get to know each of you. Most of y'all are like the dysfunctional family I never knew I could enjoy so much. Even Abel.
Mostly, I'm thankful I don't live in Boston because f*ck the Bruins, Celtics, Patriots, and Sawx. Bandwagon mass holes are obnoxious. #BuffaloThug #HTownUp
Max Croes: Thankful my dad can watch Rockets games in Houston again. Thankful for my cousin being a boss and covering League Pass this year. Appreciative of Mario Chalmers who helps provide Thanksgiving dinners for needy families in Alaska through his non-profit foundation.
Allen Ojeda: I'm thankful for Brandon, Armin, and Patrick. Armin was so kind to allowing me to write my first ever TDS post many years ago when I previewed a Rockets -- Mavericks matchup. Not only was this a huge accomplishment for me personally, it solidified that I really enjoy writing about basketball. Since then, he has always been supportive of my writing and I can't thank him enough for that. Patrick, for bringing me on The Dream Shake's staff while he was editor and always providing me advice on how to improve my writing. Lastly, Brandon, who has been my mentor and "older brother" since I started commenting on The Dream Shake. He believed in me before anyone else did and has helped me more than he knows.
But really, I'm thankful this Texas A&M football season is almost over.
Ryan Dunsmore: I'm thankful the CSN Houston nightmare is over, and that I can finally watch Houston sports once again in the city limits. I'm thankful my family healthy, and that everything is on schedule for my wedding later this year.
Matt Rothstein: I'm thankful that I can feel and move both of my legs, and am mindful of those less fortunate, like Terrence Jones. I am also thankful for Trevor Ariza, and for Ish Smith NOT being on the team. I am thankful for being brought on to TDS this fall, and for the overwhelming pile of evidence that I am the Rockets' lucky charm (ducks thrown stool).
I so desperately wish I could be thankful for Troy Daniels' three-point shooting, but it has not come to pass
Ian Jacoby: This year I'm thankful for the internet. Specifically, the section devoted to writing and talking and thinking about basketball.
Without the fine analysts of the hive-mind over at places like /r/nba, I would have no idea how bad James Harden is on defense, I wouldn't be aware of Dwight being "Literally Hitler", and I wouldn't know that the Rockets are definitely a 7-seed at best. Hell, without the internet, I might get crazy ideas about Steph Curry not being a top-5 player or start thinking that Kevin McHale is competent. It frightens me to think of how lost I would be without the all-knowing and ever-present hand that is the blogosphere guiding me to correct opinion. Blessings be upon thee, you increasingly congested series of tubes.
Mike de Moor: I'm thankful for the Rockets having one of my two favorite players, James Harden (with the second being Jose Calderon, of course), who I first became a fan of at Arizona State when I saw him rip apart a 1-2-2 zone from the middle. I'm also thankful for Patrick Beverley, mostly because he's an animal and I admire a guy who plays the most competitive position in the game and competes despite having less talent than 95% of the PG's in the NBA. I'm also thankful for Danny, although my roommates are wondering where their lotions have disappeared to.
Danny Emerman: I'm thankful for Trevor Ariza being just as good if not better than Chandler Parsons for the Rockets. Ariza is averaging just 3 less points (on less shots) while clearly playing better defense. I'm also thankful for James Harden's sweet eurosteps and other unique finishes around the rim.
Plus, I am hopeful that Adam Silver can reform the lottery to reduce tanking and generally improve the already amazing NBA.
Finally, I'm thankful for the amazing readers of The Dream Shake for writing smart, clever comments and awesome FanPosts.
Let us know what you are thankful for in the comments. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.