Running around to Give you the Reacharound
Post Katrina Houston Streets Now More Dangerous Than Ever
The Houston Chronicle reported this morning that bad boy/borderline insane Ron Artest has been traded to the underachieving Houston Rockets. Any story of Artest would be woefully incomplete without some reference to his past indiscretions, but let's just get out of the way that he is an incredible talent. This trade, with perhaps another move to sign a backup PG, moves Houston to the front (though not the very front) of the line to contend for the NBA title. I still see the Spurs contending for the title, the Suns making some noise and I don't think the Lakers will slip much. In fact they'll probably improve. But the Houston Rockets will certainly compete at the top with these teams, or else Tracy McGrady will go down as one of the biggest disappoints in the history of superstar basketball players. And he knows it.
So what was the deal? In my opinion this was an excellent move for the Rockets. All they give up is unproven rookie Donte Green, a first-rounder in 2009 likely to be in the mid 20s of the round - which figures to be a Johan Petro, Renaldo Balkman or Alexis Ajinca type player - over-the-hill but feisty Bobby Jackson and a million cold, hard cash. This, for Ron Artest, a legit All Star who's one of the best defenders in the league and averaged more than 20 points last year. Representing the final piece in the Superstar Trifecta that is apparently necessary to win a title in the NBA now (you could say that The Glove and Antoine Walker combined to form the 3rd for the Heat), even if Houston doesn't resign this nutcase it's still an excellent deal. The Rockets will be selling tickets like never before since Hakeem left. Hell, with Michael Bourn in a slump the Artest jersey is guaranteed to be the top selling sports merch in the city now. I know I'm going to fucking get one.
Now, if you're a Houston Rockets "fan," you have to feel somewhat like a High School Chemistry student. Your professor (GM/Adelman) is telling you to mix all these chemicals over a bunson burner, and you're holding out hope that today something cool and fascinating might actually happen, besides just changing the appearance of the liquid. Like making the whole thing turn solid as concrete and fall to the table. That would be cool, teach!
At the same time, you're trusting this guy that all these combustible chemicals won't blow up at any second, leaving shards of purple-stained glass stuck in your face, with you left wondering why you bothered to show up at all.
Isn't this the guy that was openly contemplating retirement a little over a year ago? Am I fucking insane for believing that someone who questioned his commitment just last season is going to be the savior for a city? In other wacky Artest news, this was right around the time he was announced as the newest spokesperson for PETA. I'm guessing the PETA reps swooned at the release of Artest's mega-awesome hip-hop album, where he speaks of his profound respect and tasteful, gentlemanly treatment of both fuzzy animals and women (read: "Bitches tuggin on my shirt" implicitly and poetically states that women love Artest because his clothing fabric is not tested or created by animals) in epically innovative lyrics such as:
Yo I'm so high
And that's no lie
Throw ya blunt up in the sky
Cause these niggas don't die
Now I might be quick to get a tech
But I keep my girls in check
Punch ‘em in the neck
With the utmost respect
That's just fucking incredible. Gimme Dat Booty Wooty all day, Ron Ron.
Now, there are still a great number of displaced Katrina citizens terrorizing Houston, but I would suggest all of them run if they see the above referenced Artest walking towards them. If there's one athlete I wouldn't be surprised to have my ass kicked by, it's fucking Ron Artest.
Only time will tell how this move relates to the Rockets winning a championship, but that's certainly the end game here. You have to respect the franchise for going for it, and as an added bonus we get the comfort of knowing crybaby Kobe is open-eyed and asking Lakers managment "what the hell happened" like Tim Duncan after a foul.
A completely subjective opinion, but I think this makes Houston one of the most interesting teams to watch. If McGrady and Yao stay healthy, which is one helluva big if, the addition of Ron Ron should nearly guarantee a top 3 finish in the West. In other words, your move San Antonio.