Let's go back to a simpler time: 2009.
The "Jersey Shore" is still a thing. GM just killed Saturn cars and gas was around $1.84 (hey's it's almost back to that!). Amazing right? Who want's to go back? I know I do.
I mainly want to go back because it was a pretty fun time to be interested in Houston Rockets basketball. Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady were still a thing - well, kinda. 2009 was about it for the duo; T-Mac would have season-ending knee surgery — and they'd make it out of the first round of the playoffs.
2009 was an interesting year indeed. Like the ups and downs of the stock market, the Rockets themselves would have a crushing low point with McGrady getting hurt, but the team would end up riding high coming within a game of making it through the eventual NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the playoffs (fast forward to 2016, beating the Lakers just isn't as gratifying).
The year also produced one of the greatest Rockets one hit wonders: shooting guard Von Wafer.
Wafer was brought into training camp and he wasn't really expected to make the team, but got hot in camp and in the preseason, the Rockets kept him around.
Then McGrady went down, shortly after that the Rockets turned to Wafer and he gave the team a lift starting 10 straight games managing to score 16.5 points a game on 48.9% shooting from the field.
Wafer established himself a scorer for the Rockets, someone they could turn to when they needed a boost.
He would head back to the bench after that stretch but he was still counted on very heavily. Playing about 20 minutes a game in the final 37 games of the season, he scored almost 10 points a game.
He could be seen dunking over people left and right, getting to the rim with ease. He had some of the best athleticism on the team and really made a name for himself with some eye-opening plays.
Back in 2008, there was no such thing as Vine, but if it was around, Wafer would have been a viral sensation.
While there are sooooo many players that have played for the Rockets, few seemed to have more raw potential than Wafer.
For whatever reason, he wasn't brought back to the team the following year, and he was pretty much never heard from again. He played a few more seasons in the NBA, but his lone year with the Rockets was his absolute zenith.
Much like Soft Cell's "Tainted Love," the era of the Wafer was here one day and gone the next.
At the height of the Wafer experience, during the playoffs, the Rockets brought in Sports Clips to give fans a free haircut if they wanted a "VonHawk" Wafer's signature look. I myself took part in the Wafer craze that swept Houston. I wish I had some old pictures to show just how boss I looked.
For 60-something games, Wafer made you forget about T-Mac, he brought so much fun and excitement to Rockets basketball.
Wafer won't go down as one of the greatest Rockets in the history of the franchise. But he is immortalized in Red Nation lore with one of the greatest calls from Rockets play by play man Craig Ackerman: "He's not a cookie, he's not a cracker, He's Von Wafer!"