When Daryl Morey signed Omer Asik to a 3 year/$25 million contract in the summer of 2012, many fans (including myself) were seriously questioning what Morey was doing. The Rockets were in a state of flux at the time, as they were planning to let Jeremy Lin be the franchise cornerstone after his “Linsanity” stretch with the Knicks. Remember, this was before (albeit only two months) Daryl Morey robbed James Harden from the Thunder and set the course for the Rockets franchise.
However, we’re here to focus on the Turkish Hammer, Omer Asik. A quiet, hard working, no nonsense player who just went about his business night in and night out (sounds like the opposite of a recently departed Rockets big man, doesn’t it?) Asik was only in Houston for 2 seasons (one of which was cut in half by injuries), but the real gem of his time in H-town was the 2012-2013 season.
Asik put up 10.1 ppg, 11.7 rpg, and over a block per game. He played 30 minutes a night for all 82 games, and actually improved his production in the playoffs against the Thunder (12.3 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 1.7 bpg). During the 2012-2013 season, Asik produced a career high 3.5 defensive win shares and provided excellent defense like this on a consistent basis:
Just look at how Asik reacts to winning the game for the Rockets. It’s as if he doesn’t even want the attention and praise. Asik was a rebounding machine who always seemed to be in the right place defensively to help the Rockets.
Even though there was only one full year of that kind of production from Asik, it was hard not love the guy. He gave 100% every time he was on the court, including when we had to (gulp) watch him on the offensive end. Man, does Asik really have hands carved from stone. I’ll admit it was hard to love Omer when he seemingly dropped or botched 75% of the passes he received from Harden. But hey, at least he was trying. Asik was also an underrated dunker. He could really put some guys on posters.
In the end, although Asik began to publicly complain and pout about his role being reduced when Dwight came to Houston, he still provided us with the greatest season of his career during the 2012-2013 season. He gave us all he had, provided great defense, poor free throw shooting, hands carved from stone, and the demeanor and personality of a silent assassin.
Oh, and also, there’s this:
Over time, Asik will certainly be forgotten in the grand scheme of Rockets big men. However, I for one will never forget the Turkish Hammer and his great 2012-2013 season.