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NBA Central

  • Blogs

    July 14, 2014

    LeBron James Goes Back To Cleveland: 4 Winners, 4 Losers

    A simple letter posted to the internet. That's all it was this time. No made for television special, no Jim Gray, no "taking my talents to," no dry ice unveiling where were told "not three, not four, not five..." championships. In every way imaginable, LeBron James' announcement Friday that he wo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 14, 2014

    New Rules for the NBA Free Agency Rumor Mill

    On Friday, I was relaxed, enjoying the wrap up of a beach vacation with my wife, sitting under an umbrella with the clear, green waters of the southern Gulf of Mexico stretched out in front of me. And my spirits were high as I continued to watch reports of the Rockets preparing to sign Chris Bosh no ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2014

    LeBron Watch 2014: NBA Cities Everywhere Held Hostage

    This is what happens when you have a league imposed maximum salary on a player whose true worth is at least two to three times that amount --- in a league where that star player is worth about 25 to 30 incremental regular season wins--- and, when that player is a free agent, the league will stand st ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2014

    LeBron's Choice Opens Rockets to Snag Chris Bosh

    It was a rough break-up for LeBron James and Cleveland. That acrid stench of burning jerseys and the screams of angry fans were traumatic enough to keep the Miami Heat star up at night thinking about his home team, the Cavaliers. Now, he's kicking South Beach to the curb for Cleveland, according ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2014

    Rockets' Dangerous Game of Dominoes and What Needs to Happen With Bosh, Parsons and LeBron

    Well, let the madness begin. After a ten day period that began with a Daryl Morey trip to Philadelphia to visit Kyle Lowry, followed by a brief courtship of Carmelo Anthony that fizzled about the time he got into his car to leave Americas Restaurant and head to the airport, the Houston Rockets now ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 26, 2014

    Rockets Asik Trade to New Orleans, and So the Dominos Begin to Fall

    If we learned anything from last summer's pursuit of Dwight Howard, it's that these things happen in stages. It starts with a hope, a dream, and lots of time spent on ESPN's Trade Machine. Then, it continues with sportsbooks posting odds on the likelihood of success. It continues with the major out ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 26, 2014

    NBA Draft 2014: Sean Pendergast Livefeed and Broken Tall Man Feet

    It was all going to be so simple. As has seemingly become annual tradition, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the first pick in this year's NBA Draft (just like 2011 and 2013), and by all accounts, up until about a week or so ago, they were set to draft Kansas center Joel Embiid. From there, it would h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 25, 2014

    Never Forget, LeBron: Zapruder Analysis Of Dan Gilbert's Irate 2010 Letter

    So LeBron James is unofficially officially going to be a free agent come July 1, according to his agent, Rich Paul. If history is any indicator, this means that LeBron is ready to embark on a series of sales pitches, looking to be wowed, trying to find the next place to continue to build his resume ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 24, 2014

    LeBron James to Exit Miami Contract (The Decision II)

    Weren't we just here yesterday? Man, four years went by fast. When comparing the Cleveland 2010 and Miami 2014 situations for LeBron James, many qualitative doppelgängers are in place -- Post season run ending in a soul crushing fashion? Check. Frustration with a rickety supporting cast? Check ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 23, 2014

    Carmelo Anthony's Odds On Becoming A Houston Rocket

    By the time you read this, provided that he hasn't been abducted by aliens or that he isn't using Elvis Dumervil's fax machine, Carmelo Anthony has provided the New York Knicks with the requisite notice that he will opt out of the final year of his deal, pushing aside $23.3 million to evaluate his o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 2, 2014

    Hair Balls Viral Video Box Set From Over the Weekend

    It's summertime. Not officially yet, the official start of summer is June 21 (I think), but after a weekend of stifling humidity surrounded by multiple torrential thunderstorms, for all intents and purposes, it's now summertime. And that means that it officially sucks for most of you to have to g ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2014

    History Tonight as Rockets Look to Hand 76ers Their 26th Straight Loss

    Back on November 13, 2013, the Houston Rockets travelled to Philadelphia to take on what, at the time, we could call an "upstart" Philadelphia 76ers squad. Given that all indications in the offseason had been that they were aligning themselves to be so terrible that they would practically be hoardi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2014

    Rockets Are the Hottest Team in Basketball for Good Reason (for Once)

    Whenever an NBA team goes on a winning streak, even if that streak is four or five games, declarations are made. Some are long term, often with little evidentiary basis, but most are the of the moment variety. That team gets the designation of hottest team in the league. The NBA can be hyper competi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2013

    Dwight Howard's Early Christmas Present: An MVP Level Performance In Detroit

    In a perfect world, good NBA teams would like to be able to manage the regular season the way that the San Antonio Spurs do every year. Play your superstars around 70 games, know exactly which games to rest them (and maybe even win a few of those, like the Spurs did against Golden State this past Th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2013

    Rockets Beat Bulls at Start of Tough Stretch to End 2013

    Sitting on the bench in the waning moments of the Rockets 109-94 win over Chicago on Wednesday night, even the injured players -- one of whom may not be a Rocket by this weekend -- were smiling. It was the kind of victory that helps to wipe out some of the bitter taste left after the loss against Sa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2013

    Influential Chef Charlie Trotter Dead at 54; His Chicago Restaurant Was Hot Spot For Decades

    Charlie Trotter, the chef whose eponymous restaurant began a new and inventive era in American cuisine, has died. Trotter was 54, and had closed his restaurant last year after 25 years of much success, and almost as much controversy and conflict. He said that he decided to close the restaurant so he ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 30, 2013

    Gambling! NBA 2013-2014 Season Win Total Futures Bets!

    In the wagering world, there's a reason (well, several, but one big one) why football betting is so popular. Since 98 percent of the action occurs on Saturday and Sunday, there's a built-in moderation and containment to football's action where (a) it largely doesn't infringe on the average Joe's w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2013

    NBA Retro Zapruder Of The 1985 NBA Draft Lottery

    In the 80's hit movie Stand By Me, there's a scene where the four main characters, teenage boys (including a young Corey Feldman!), are sitting around a campfire and one of them (Gordie) tells a story about a fat kid named Lard Ass participating in a blueberry pie eating contest at the county fair. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 28, 2013

    Rockets Close Out Home Stand with Loss to Pacers

    If at the beginning of this seven-game homestand someone would ask the average Rocket fan what a good record would be given the teams on the schedule, most would likely want 7-0, but they would certainly settle for 5-2, which is exactly what they got after the Rockets went down to the NBA's league-l ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 25, 2013

    Rockets Make Winning Plays Late, Beat Spurs 96-95 on Harden's Late Jumper

    It's been a while since Rockets fans have experienced something like this. For those of us who have followed the Rockets for 20 or 30 years, we can remember plenty of times they rose up to make big shots against the rival San Antonio Spurs...and quite a few that went the other direction. But, Sunday ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 16, 2013

    From Five Straight Wins to Four Straight Losses, the Young Rockets Continue to Confound

    I've mentioned in this space on numerous occasions that you have to take the good and bad with youth. It's exciting and fast-paced and fun, but it's also exceedingly frustrating. On a weekend that saw the Texans go out more with a whimper than a bang, it would have been nice for the other halfway de ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2012

    Open Letter to the Jerks Who Killed Someone Over a Pair of Air Jordans

    Dear A-Holes, Well done. You have reached the absolute lowest point on the criminal totem pole. You are now ranked down there with people who steal Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve and worthless lowlifes who literally take candy from babies. You killed a guy over a pair of shoes. I must confess I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 26, 2012

    Rockets 120, Bulls 97: Offensive Juggernaut Routs Another Defensive Powerhouse

    Don't look now, but the team no one can see on Houston TV is looking pretty damn good right about now. Winning their fourth game in a row, which included routs over the Knicks and the Grizzlies, the Rockets beat one of the best defensive teams in the league, the Chicago Bulls, by 23, at one point le ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 25, 2012

    NBA Season Jump Starts with Spate of Christmas Day Games Including the Rockets

    In 2011, Christmas Day was the literal start to the NBA season thanks to a lockout that kept the season from starting for nearly two full months. Most every other year, the season starts in October, but for the casual fan, it doesn't really get going until Christmas Day. With the NFL taking the day ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 28, 2012

    Phil Jackson Words Ring True for Underground Houston Rap

    Context: That's The Fury God doing one of those radio-station freestyles that radio stations like to ask rappers to do. It happened right before he performed at The Box's recent Los Magnificos Custom Car Show, alongside four other underground acts. Why It's Important: Because it might maybe possib ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 1, 2012

    Beardsanity: Rockets Stars Inspire in Win, Team Still Has Issues (with Crazy Video)

    So, this James Harden kid is pretty good. He torched the Detroit Pistons for 37 points, 12 assists (a career high), six rebounds and four steals on opening night and it appears he is everything advertised and more. No doubt he isn't going to go off for that kind of game every night, but he has insta ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2012

    Ask A Rapper: D-Risha Discusses Sports' Worst "Decisions"

    The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place -- lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good -- so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Something you always wanted to ask a rapper? E-mail sheaserrano@gmail.com. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 25, 2012

    Hammered Miami Heat Fan Strips To Bra & Panties To Celebrate A Win (VIDEO Analysis)

    I realize that, unless you're a member of LeBron James' or Dwyane Wade's immediate family, it's awfully tough to find a reason to root for the Miami Heat. While they're not the lightning rod for vitriol that they were coming off of LeBron's "Decision" in the summer of 2010, the Heat are still quit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2012

    One Man's NBA All-Star Reserve Selections

    Go ahead and chalk up the NBA All-Star Game taking place in a few weeks (Sunday, February 26, to be exact) in Orlando's Amway Center as the next "feels weird" moment of the NBA season. It feels like the season just tipped off a few weeks ago and yet here we are, about 20 games in, deciding who the b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 24, 2011

    2011 NBA Draft -- 4 Winners, 4 Losers

    Tough night for Dick Vitale​My fingers are still recovering from the lengthy (eight printed pages!) live blog I did last night here on Hair Balls, but the day after the draft necessitates some post-draft analysis. I've now had a day to sleep on it, and without further ado, a few post-draft tho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 23, 2011

    NBA Draft Rewind -- 1986, The Worst Draft Ever

    Plus the shorts sucked​As much as those who construct teams in sports would like to think that they have a formula and a blueprint that they can go execute with any team in any market and be successful, the fact of the matter is that even for the best personnel men in the best-run organization ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2011

    2011 NBA Draft -- A Reminder of the Rockets' Purgatory

    NBA Draft: Do Rocket fans have anything to look forward to?​In the second season of The Sopranos, after getting shot in the abdomen and nearly dying, Christopher has dreams while in a coma about going to a place where people die every day the same painful way they died on earth. Convinced that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 28, 2011

    Detroit Pistons Mutiny (with Tracy McGrady video)

    Practice?! We're talking about practice?!​If you're keeping score at home, Tracy McGrady has left scorched earth behind every NBA franchise for whom he has played. He left Toronto for Orlando just as his career was finally beginning to blossom, eventually wore out his welcome (amidst copious ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 31, 2010

    Year in Review Appendix -- Five More Stories For The Road

    One more for 2010...​I love the last week of December. Between Gary Kubiak and the option to just pick out some category from the past year and recap it, it's ready-made content. Just add snark! So in the spirit of lazy "Year in Review" style posts (one of which I've already submitted today! ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2010

    Thanksgiving 2010: The Post Where We Get All "Thanky"

    Thank you. Thank you very much.​As we prepare to gorge ourselves today on turkey (Cajun fried is the choice here), stuffing, pumpkin bread, and perhaps something green (maaaaybe, but probably not), I want to first thank all of you who stop in and read the stuff on the blog here, not just my st ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2010

    The Quotable Tracy McGrady: "It's About Winning."

    Blame Canada....or PEDs​Well, apparently I've pissed off Canada.In a post that was largely meant to illustrate the cavalcade of clown that is Les Miles and make a salient point or two about the Houston Texans, the biggest reaction to yesterday's "5 Winners, 5 Losers" came from north of the border, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 28, 2010

    Game Time: Bryan Colangelo Calls Chris Bosh A Pussy

    Chris Bosh, hit from all sides​Right now, the Miami Heat are 0-0 in the 2010-2011 season. We've learned nothing about them from a basketball standpoint. At this point, all we know is how this new marriage made in hell has been processed emotionally -- by jilted fans, jilted teammates, and jilted ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2010

    Game Time: Yao Ming -- My Career Advice

    Yao: No sane person would retire from your gig​As NBA stars go, when healthy Yao Ming is a game changer. We all know this to be true. He's as skilled an offensive big man as there is in the league, he draws double teams, and what he lacks in footspeed defensively, he makes up for in effort and s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2010

    Game Time: Tracy McGrady Has Unfinished Business (And Water Is Wet)

    T-Mac is growling​"I have unfinished business...." -- Tracy McGrady, via Twitter on SaturdayYeah, I got that doozy on my Tweetdeck on Saturday and had to laugh. I wondered if maybe the Twitter universe had started up one of its viral bandwagon topics, where people start hurling their contribution ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2010

    Game Time: LeBron is Making Me A Texas Longhorn Fan

    Kevin Durant -- the anti-LeBron​It's July, it's the All-Star break, the Astros have reached the "what P.R. grab can we make?" part of the season about six weeks earlier than usual, and if I may say, hiring Jeff Bagwell as hitting coach should have far-reaching ramifications on the ball club that w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 9, 2010

    Game Time: LeBron James: The Decision -- You Suck, ESPN

    LeBron is Cleveland's new "Cuyahoga River on fire"​"It's been a real humbling experience to be in this position." -- LeBron James on his self-requested, one hour made-for-LeBron TV special on ESPNIf you lived in Houston at the time, you remember September 13, 2008. That was the morning after Hurr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2010

    Game Time: LeBron-athon -- Five Backstabbings That Will Get You Ready For Tonight

    Anakin Skywalker: Thanks for nothing, kid​In anticipation of LeBron James' decision as to where he will ply his trade for the next few years, shares of MSG stock rose 6 percent yesterday for a period of time before settling back to where they were earlier in the day. The reason for the brief bump ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 24, 2010

    Game Time: NBA DRAFT -- Worst Lottery Picks Of The Last 15 Years

    cutline​As "must see" events on the sporting calendar go, the annual NBA Draft is highly underrated. If you ask the average sports fan his or her five most watchable sports nights of the year you'll probably get canned answers like the Super Bowl, a Game 7 in the MLB or NBA playoffs, and any inte ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2010

    Game Time: LeBron James -- A Lesson In Sales

    Debase yourself, Cleveland​The older you get, the more you realize that ultimately every decision in life has a "sales" element to it. Getting married, getting divorced, having kids, purchasing a house or a car, choosing a movie, picking an appetizer,...whatever decision it is, there's some level ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2010

    Game Time: What If Gordon Hayward's Shot Goes In?

    As sports fans, I think we probably let single events define players and coaches more than we should. In this era where we want to evaluate things quickly and neatly, it's always easier (and oftentimes, lazier) to just let one play on a big stage define somebody. It's clear, it's concise, it's also ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2009

    Rockets Left To Wonder What Could Have Been

    (Note: This was written by Ben DuBose.)The next time someone tells you that early-season games in sports like basketball and baseball don't matter, refer them to the case of the 2008-09 Houston Rockets.The No. 5-seeded Rockets were one game from having a dream path to the Western Conference Finals, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 2, 2008

    One-Fifth of the Way In, Whither the Rockets?

    With about 20 percent of the season concluded, the Rockets' 11-7 record appears at first blush to be maddeningly inconsistent. But I think it's a lot easier to explain than it may seem. One way to measure the future success of the team based on its current record is to look at "bad losses" - eith ... More >>

  • Calendar

    March 2, 2006
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