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[Old Chron]Lest We Forget the Summer of 92

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by DudeWah, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. DudeWah

    DudeWah Member

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    This is an interesting read that I think most people here were never aware of. During the summer of 1992, the Rockets faced much uncertainty. The Rockets had a few mediocre seasons; had lost Samson a few years back; were facing ownership dilemma; drafted Horry to much dismay; and Hakeem wanted out.

    Yes folks, that is right. That same Hakeem that is the face of our franchise. Now don't get me wrong, Hakeem is my favorite player of ALL TIME. But I hope this brings some perspective to the whole overblown "quitting on your franchise" thing. At the end of the day, when people win all mistakes are erased. And hey I still <3 Hakeem.

    Anyways, this is an old article. So do enjoy:

    http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=1992_1079054
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    I remember this, but it was much more of a complicated situation with the change of ownership happening too.

    At the end all parties worked things out.

    I see what you are trying to do, but this story has a happy ending.
     
  3. DudeWah

    DudeWah Member

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    <br>
    I'm just educating the n00bs. We all could use some perspective.
     
  4. oogie boogie

    oogie boogie Member

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    oh snap

    this thread should be interesting
     
  5. htownrox1

    htownrox1 Member

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    In for the epic thread I assume.
     
  6. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Seriously, good find. I'm interested in the earlier quotes where Hakeem actually says he wants out, to recall exactly how he said it. Seriously, go on a crusade to bring us these articles again. Earlier ones and the outcome ones.

    I do recall us fans being scared of him saying he was injured (wasn't it a circulation thing), after what happened to JR Richard.

    But come on, let's not turn your work into a spout of you against tinman.

    I'd like to hear what others remember thinking. The city was somewhat divided over this.
     
  7. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    All it took was an airplane flight to japan and some money.

    Here's the other part of the story:




    http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=1993_1117400

    Thomas makes Hakeem a Rocket until '99/Four-year, $25.4 million extension puts lid on turbulent era
    EDDIE SEFKO Staff

    TUE 03/16/1993 HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Section Sports, Page 3, 3 STAR

    Less than six months after Hakeem Olajuwon hurled insults like "coward" and "fool" at Charlie Thomas, the Rockets' owner finally threw something back at Olajuwon that speaks louder than words.

    Money.

    On a day that proved even the most strained relationships can be salvaged, Olajuwon on Monday signed a four-year contract extension worth $25.4 million. He is under contract with the Rockets until 1999.

    Moments after the announcement, Olajuwon and Thomas wore smiles and shared a hug.

    Who woulda thunk it? In October, nobody expected this union to make it through the winter. Olajuwon had demanded a trade, in addition to his other remarks. The Rockets had impugned Olajuwon's integrity by implying the All-Star center faked an injury.

    Then, Monday, Thomas said it really wasn't all that bad.

    "Kittsie (Thomas) has said a lot worse things than Hakeem did," Thomas said. "And we're still married."

    So are Olajuwon and the Rockets. Everybody was joyous at the announcement of an agreement that had been reached about a month ago and had become public in the past week.

    With Olajuwon scheduled to make almost $6 million in the next two seasons, his compensation for the next six years totals more than $31 million. The contract brings Olajuwon's salary in line with that of the other top NBA centers.

    The extension includes a clause that allows Olajuwon to buy out of the contract after the 1996-97 season and become an unrestricted free agent. The extension escalates in value yearly, and sources said it would take a contract in excess of $8 million per season to coax Olajuwon to buy out the final two years of his deal with the Rockets.

    "I've made my commitment," Thomas said. "But if the market changes drastically, that takes care of the situation. It gives Hakeem flexibility, which he hasn't had in previous deals.

    "It's a good deal for both of us. I think it shows we're all committed to seeing this thing through."

    It was indeed a day of commitment. Olajuwon is under contract until 1999; Thomas said the Rockets are for sale, but he is in no hurry to part with the franchise.

    "When you're a car dealer, you never eliminate the possibility somebody might make you an offer you can't refuse," Thomas said. "But if I ever do sell the team, somebody will have to come to me with a cashier's check. They're going to lose something, too, if I'm going to lose something."

    So, with Olajuwon content and the Rockets' 13-game winning streak, the future starts now.

    "I'm just glad it's over," Olajuwon said. "Now, we can shoot for the championship."


    That word was something that was tossed around freely Monday.

    "We've got 4 1/2 years to win a championship," Thomas said. "I think we can win a championship. I'm not here to promise we will. But we're a contender. We've never been as deep as we are this year.

    "Anything can happen. Injuries can happen. But I think we've proven that we can play with the best of them. We've got a legitimate shot to do something."

    "It's a gigantic day in Rockets history," said coach Rudy Tomjanovich. "I'm happy for Hakeem. I'm happy for Charlie. But I'm really happy for me, because it makes my job a lot easier."


    Olajuwon's agent, Leonard Armato, had a big hand in working out the details that will keep Olajuwon with the Rockets. He said the groundwork is in place to produce potentially huge dividends.

    "Hakeem is very happy to be in Houston forever," Armato said. "Everybody feels like a family now, and good things happen in a family atmosphere."

    Could that championship happen in this atmosphere? Only time will tell, but Monday's events were a step in the right direction. Almost as impressive as the contract was how much ground Olajuwon and the Rockets have covered in a year.

    Last March, Olajuwon was embroiled in a dispute with Thomas and general manager Steve Patterson. Olajuwon said he had a hamstring injury. The Rockets' doctors cleared him to play, but an independent doctor detected Olajuwon was injured and advised him not to play.

    The Rockets claimed Olajuwon was feigning the injury to expedite a contract extension. When the cloud lifted, Olajuwon had demanded a trade. On the Rockets' media day in October, Olajuwon unloaded. He called Thomas a coward for hiding behind Patterson and said the franchise was run by fools.

    So how did the gap between Olajuwon's October surprise and Monday's extension get bridged?

    "When you have two people as smart and business-minded as Charlie and Hakeem, you can find a way to make something work," Patterson said. "I don't ever say never. You go through different phases of relationships. It's like being married. Sometimes, families have squabbles."


    Armato and Thomas were essential.

    "The key to success was opening the lines of communication," Armato said. "Once we did that, things worked out pretty quickly."

    The lines of communication were opened on the 13-hour flight to Japan for the season-opening games against Seattle. Olajuwon and Thomas sat together for several hours.

    "The numbers on this contract are basically the same as we talked about on the plane flight to Japan," Thomas said.

    He said dealing with Armato was a pleasant negotiating experience.

    "He's the kind of fellow I'd like to buy a car from," Thomas said of Armato. "He sells quality merchandise. He does not deal in the bargain basement. We talked several times, and the deal came out exactly like we had talked about. I've made a friend in Leonard."

    That the extension had been agreed upon a month ago would explain why Olajuwon hasn't seemed to be under pressure lately. He showed no signs of wear and tear. He has been phenomenal from the start of the season, averaging 25.2 points, 12.8 rebounds and 4.2 blocked shots and shooting 53 percent. But he has amassed those numbers without forcing his game on the club. He has been the consummate team player, averaging a career-high 3.3 assists .

    "I thought about the extension three years ago," he said. "But this won't change me. It never distracted my play. I don't think I was broke before."

    Olajuwon, 30, said he had not considered whether he will play beyond the life of this contract, which will end when he is 36.

    "I'll worry about that then," he said.
     
  8. chenjy9

    chenjy9 Numbers Don't Lie
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    All players want to win. What separates men from boys is what a player is willing to do to win. Hakeem worked out his differences with management after changes had been made, laced up, and further increased his already amazing levels of production. What did T-Mac do? He announced his decision to go against every doctor's medical opinion (save the one he found to agree with him) to only the trainer and then announced it to the world to let RA and DM find out about it. Hakeem walked his talk and T-Mac simply talks. That is the key difference.
     
  9. blink

    blink Contributing Member

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    yes.... cf has a serious lack of perspective.
     
  10. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    why? alot of us already know the end of this story.
     
  11. htownrox1

    htownrox1 Member

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    To see how divided people might have been on this when it was going on.
     
  12. RocketMania1991

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    [​IMG]

    Wrong Ending?
     
  13. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    how about to see how it was resolved?

    people don't go watch a movie and stop in the middle right? the want the WHOLE STORY including the ending.
     
  14. htownrox1

    htownrox1 Member

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    Look at the pic above ^^ :( :eek: :(
     
  15. Patience

    Patience Contributing Member

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    A lot of people whine about "what if we had traded Sampson for Jordan and Drexler" or "what if we had drafted Rashard Lewis" or "what if we could have picked Brandon Roy."

    But there is a flip side to that coin. What if the Rockets had made the above mentioned trade? Gives me shivers to think...
     
  16. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    you got the wrong story.

    the dispute with then owner Charlie Thomas was about money (contract extension). Dream got his contract, we got a new owner, Patterson got fired.
    We got some new players, you know, Mario Elie, Sam Cassell..

    the Toronto dream, that's a completely different story.
     
  17. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    dude. it's the wrong story.
    seriously, you guys want Rockets history 101? Tinman is going to drop it on you.
     
  18. LCII

    LCII Contributing Member

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    Its' good to know not everything was all roses and rainbows like you make out the Hakeem era to be. Would you still be tooting the 'glory days' like you are if the Rockets didn't win any championships?

    Maybe the reason fans are so impatient these days is because of posters like you, who neglect to mention all the negotiations, ego disputes, and hard work it took for the Houston Rockets to finally win their championships.
     
  19. htownrox1

    htownrox1 Member

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    Your post earlier said people want the "WHOLE STORY".. Unfortunately Hakeem going to Toronto at the end of his career involves the WHOLE STORY, just a different part.
     
  20. RocketMania1991

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    DO IT DROP IT, I DARE YOU!
     
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