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Why Charles Barkley has it out for the Rockets

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A little history lesson in Rocket Fuel

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Barkley has it in for the Rockets. You don't need to have watched him rant and rave about analytics on Tuesday night to know this, just to have watched him on TV at any point over the past decade.

We've obliquely mentioned his financial disputes with the Rockets to be at least part of the reason for his irrational stances against the team. Couple that with Shaquille O'Neal's annoying fixation with tearing down Dwight Howard and you have an NBA studio show that is borderline unwatchable if you're a Rockets fan.

It turns out, Rockets fans are not alone in thinking there's inherent Bias. Rockets executives agree.

Old history with Rockets flavors Barkley's opinions | Houston Chronicle (Paywall)

In case you didn't know the full history, Feigen provides it

There is, however, a history that fueled the exchange, and it has nothing to do with the league-wide movement to look at statistics that go far beyond box scores.

The Rockets have long felt Barkley is biased against them, a contention he does not dispute. Barkley has said on the air he has what he considers good reason, believing the Rockets did not sufficiently reward him after he took a $1 million contract for the 1998-99 season to leave the cap room necessary for them to sign Scottie Pippen.

Barkley signed a $9 million contract with the Rockets the next offseason but has argued over the years that he should have earned $14 million.

Complaints to TNT

The Rockets have often felt he has been unduly critical of them because of hard feelings, but they have been increasingly frustrated with TNT's coverage of them on the "Inside The NBA" studio show the past two seasons, or since Howard signed as a free agent. Shaquille O'Neal has long been a vocal critic of Howard, a narrative that he has brought to the TNT set.

That prompted Rockets president Tad Brown to speak with TNT officials, contending the broadcasts have been unfair to his team.

Keith Olbermann roasts Charles Barkley over his stance on analytics | For The Win

He starts by calling Barkley an idiot, then moves on from there. Thanks for having our back, Keith.

Rockets Trade Rumors Tracker | Bleacher Report

Pretty handy dandy roundup here. Some reports of Terry being on the trade block, Rockets sniffing around Brook Lopez. And, yes, there's talk of the Suns wanting a first-rounder for Dragic, not news other than the report was from yesterday and it's not "Suns are standing pat on Dragic."

Timberwolves Trade Mo Williams, Troy Daniels to Hornets | Canis Hoopus

Troy Daniels is on the move again, this time to Charlotte. Could he have another random impact in a first-round playoff series?

Dwight Howard the latest notable name in Houston’s history of hurting | Ultimate Rockets

This photo gallery is tastefully put together but fills me with a ridiculous amount of sadness. has any non-Blazer franchise but the Rockets had worse luck with injury-prone franchise players?

Tony Allen says he can’t figure out Rockets star James Harden | Ultimate Rockets

This is a little old by now, but still worth posting: the Grindfather says Harden is "pretty crafty" and "his finishing skills are scary." Two players could have claimed to give Harden loads of trouble before this last stretch: Jimmy Butler and P.J. Tucker. Harden has embarrassed both of them recently. He's, quite literally, unstoppable.

Smith says basketball has become fun again | Houston Chronicle

Also old, and another paywall warning! J-Smoove called the Rockets a "blessed situation." Since early struggles, his shooting and defense have catapulted his efficiency numbers and propelled the Rockets to crazy amounts of bench success. Morey!

NBA.com now includes Synergy play-type numbers | ProBasketballTalk

Scary, scary analytics. But this is a boon to stats nerds among us.

Suns combine to screw up inbounds pass vs. Rockets | Bleacher Report

ICYMI Wednesday, this was hilarious