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20 Years Ago: Rockets nearly trade Olajuwon to the Clippers

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Clutch, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Clutch

    Clutch Administrator
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    20 years ago today, this article was published in the Houston Chronicle, reminding us how close to stupidity the Rockets came and why the Clippers were the Clippers.

    http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/a...lajuwon-trade-brewing-roberts-key-to-com.html

    This line just cracks me up: "One source in LA said the Clippers would rather have a 22-year-old Stanley Roberts than Hakeem Olajuwon, who will be 30 this season."

    Four days later, Roberts agreed to go to the Clippers, and a three-team deal went down between Orlando, Los Angeles and New York.

    <iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dky0uCCZSm0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Meanwhile, the Rockets were "stuck" holding on to that Olajuwon guy. All of these teams were fighting over who got Roberts, the young big guy with the potential, and Olajuwon was a tool to get him. Funny how things work out.

    Only fitting that the Rockets, led by Dream, would knock the Clippers out that year.

    By the way, the young buck Roberts would only play 245 more games in the league for the remainder of his career, scattered over nine seasons. Old man Olajuwon would basically match that in the next three seasons alone, winning two NBA titles, two Defensive Player of the Year honors, an MVP trophy and two NBA Finals MVPs in that span.

    <HR>

    Four-way Olajuwon trade brewing/Roberts key to complex deal with Clippers, Knicks, Heat

    EDDIE SEFKO Staff
    SAT 09/19/1992


    Circumstances surrounding the possible trade of Hakeem Olajuwon keep getting more complicated. And the more complex they get, the simpler the answer may be.

    While it appeared on Friday that a fourth team could be involved in trying to engineer a deal for Olajuwon, the key to figuring out the puzzle probably will come down to a single player -- Orlando's Stanley Roberts.

    The Magic's 7-footer, who reportedly has ballooned to more than 320 pounds in the offseason, is coveted by the Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit, Houston and, perhaps, Milwaukee. Roberts is in LA for the weekend, and sources said he may visit Houston early next week. He holds the future of many NBA teams in the palm of his hand.

    Roberts, who has the power to veto any trade, already has said he does not want to play for the Clippers. However, if his opinion can be swayed during his stay in LA, the Rockets could be knocked out of the running for Roberts. He then would be included in a deal sending Charles Smith from LA to New York with Doc Rivers. The Clippers also would get Mark Jackson.

    That trade would put the Rockets back to square one in trying to trade Olajuwon.

    The Rockets hope to avoid starting from scratch again.
    But Roberts holds the key. If he decides he does not want to play in LA, he could open the door to trade Olajuwon. Even then, though, it will not be easy.

    The Knicks may be trying to join the threesome of Orlando, the Rockets and Clippers in what could amount to an incredible exchange of talent.

    The deal would send Olajuwon to the Clippers and Sleepy Floyd to the Clippers or Knicks. Houston would receive Danny Manning and Loy Vaught from the Clippers, Roberts from Orlando and Gerald Wilkins from the Knicks, if he can be signed before the trade. Wilkins is an unrestricted free agent.

    The Clippers would receive Olajuwon along with Jackson and Charles Oakley from the Knicks while giving up Manning and Vaught to Houston and Smith and Rivers to New York.

    New York would receive Smith, Rivers and perhaps Floyd for Oakley, Jackson and Wilkins.

    Orlando would receive two first-round draft picks, probably from the Clippers, for Roberts.

    It's only about as confusing as trigonometry.

    Normally, getting two general managers to agree on a trade is tough enough. Arranging a deal that four GMs feel is equitable seems like an impossibility.

    This could explain why there was a shortage of comment from all the would-be participants in this trade. It appeared late Friday that while all four teams are interested in doing deals, they probably will have trouble getting together for one big blockbuster.

    Again, Roberts probably will determine who makes the first move.

    A good gauge of where things stand on the Olajuwon front is the shortage of information that has trickled out in the past few days. Rockets GM Steve Patterson has been in contact with Clippers GM Elgin Baylor and other principals in the deal several times in the past two days but refuses to comment on the proceedings.

    One source in LA said the Clippers would rather have a 22-year-old Roberts than Olajuwon, who will be 30 this season.

    A site for training camp still is not definite, but the Rockets apparently are considering Galveston.

    Several sites, including Clear Lake and The Woodlands, have been mentioned as possibilities for camp, which opens on Oct. 9. However, the Rockets decided against The Woodlands after running into problems regarding logistics and expenses.

    Galveston Ball High School is expected to be the team's camp site.

    Thirty-eight finalists have been selected to compete in auditions for the Rockets Dance Team. Finals will be today at The Summit. The team will consist of 12 dancers with three alternates.
     
  2. Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat Member

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    Wow, that's crazy. But why were they trying to trade Dream? It even says in the article that Roberts ballooned up to 320lbs. That doesn't sound like a positive.
     
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  3. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Weird days. Thank goodness that none of that went down!
     
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  4. ima_drummer2k

    ima_drummer2k Contributing Member

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    He actually requested one. He was injured and the Rockets more or less accused him of faking the injury. (older posters help me out with this, I'm doing it by memory)

    The Rockets had a long flight to Japan(?) that enabled Hakeem to get it all straightened out with management. And the rest is history.

    Crazy to think what would have happened if not for those 2 games against Seattle in Japan. The long flight would have never happened and Hakeem probably would have been traded for Danny freakin' Manning.....
     
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  5. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

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    The Dream and Charlie Thomas were at war over a Hammy IIRC. Charlie thought Dream refused to play in ploy to redo contract. Dream had traing sessions videoed to prove the injury.

    The deal I remember almost happening was to Miami for Steve Smith, Glen Rice, Rony Seikaly and a fourth.

    Again, drummer, doing it by my aging recollective prowess (sic),
     
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  6. MambaJoe

    MambaJoe Member

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    I think the Rockets were trying to trade Dream because they couldn't negotiate
    on a new contract and also I believe the Dream was frustrated because he didn't have enough help on the team to win a championship.

    The Clippers are the Clippers because of the questionable moves they make. IMO, if a player (especially a young 22 year old player) that becomes overweight, that are big major signs that he is lazy and doesn't stay healthy. If you look at all the great players like Jordan, Dream, Duncan, Lebron, Kobe etc, those guys don't let themselves become overweight. A true competitor keeps in shape and work extra hard in the off season to improve and be even better the next upcoming season.

    Stanley is lazy and doesn't have that same drive and motivation as Stars. He gained a ton of weight and that is enough to be a red flag for the Clippers. Honestly, to me, in that clip that Clutch posted, it seems like Stanley is more interested in getting in the media's attention than being a great player. Most likely Stanley believes that he is great and that he's a franchise player. The way he was talking in that clip really showed where his motives are and that's why his career is the way it is with only like 250 games while Dream is a HOF and a two times Finals MVP, and a champion.
     
  7. da_juice

    da_juice Member

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    Wow- I never knew this.

    I'm surprised Hakeem didn't try to straighten this out and avoid the whole thing to begin with.
     
  8. Willis25

    Willis25 Contributing Member

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    forget the dream stuff - did anyone notice who is the voice on the news report...it was ESPN's Jordan/Kobe/Lebron fanboy Stuart Scott!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Ramathorn006

    Ramathorn006 Contributing Member

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    Wow 1992. Before I could even read. Thanks for the history.
     
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  10. MambaJoe

    MambaJoe Member

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    I couldn't remember exactly why the Rockets were trying to trade Dream. But after reading your post, now all the memories came back...
     
  11. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Dream in 1992 wasn't quite the Dream of 1993 to 1997. From what I recall he had only rededicated himself to Islam and that made him calmer and helped him greatly improve his game.

    Looking back we can laugh at this but keeping Dream over Stanley Roberts wasn't quite the no brainer it is now. It's just like the what if of if the Rockets had traded Sampson in 1986 for Jordan. Sampson was the considered the best player in college ever and was changing the game. Jordan was a special player but not the GOAT that he would come to be known as.
     
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  12. Samdogg36

    Samdogg36 Member

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    Excellent post! Wow I never would have thought it...I am not from Houston so if that trade happened I would never been a rocket fan...it was destiny lol
     
  13. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    Dream, back then, wasn't the same Dream you know as this likeable fellow. He had a temper and the issue with management was about money.

    This was all taken cared of (as mentioned by other posters) on a flight from Japan.

    Money solved this problem. And the rest was history!:grin:


    Thanks Clutch. Keep educating the Rocket fans!
     
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  14. arjun

    arjun Member

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    I just checked the career stats on Stanley Roberts

    The irony...he ended up playing 6 games for the Rockets in 98' before retiring shortly after. lol
     
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  15. CDrex

    CDrex Contributing Member

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    So I don't know about you guys, but usually I take it as a bad sign if "ballooned" and "coveted" are in the same sentence together.

    In all fairness to Stanley Roberts, it IS the Clippers though.
     
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  16. Dave2000

    Dave2000 Contributing Member

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    another irony to this story, Roberts played for us during his later years.....

    [​IMG]

    EDOT: Doh, arjun posted the fact a min before I did :)
     
    #16 Dave2000, Sep 19, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
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  17. GRENDEL

    GRENDEL Contributing Member

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    I remember how is seemed like an eventuality that Dream was going to be moved. Would have been another heartbreaking loss for a young kid especially after the Astros let Nolan Ryan go a few years earlier.
     
  18. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    I remember that with the Astros. F the Astros. Karma got them back, now the Express is an owner of a much better team.

    All Nolan Ryan wanted was a measly 1 million dollars, they give that crap to scrubs like Hasheem Thabeet now!
     
  19. txppratt

    txppratt Contributing Member

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    should we give credit to morey for any moves he didnt make?
     
  20. gotrock?

    gotrock? Member

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    BTW, IIRC, I gotta say that having a hick like Charlie Thomas and a snot-nosed jerk like Steve Patterson in the front office didn't help. The team did suffer enormously after Sampson was traded and drug suspensions tore the team apart. Hakeem wanted better teammates than Buck Johnson, Joe Barely Cares and "I can score on anybody" Derrick Chevous, but he ALWAYS busted his tail for the Rockets. Then he claimed he hurt his hammy so the front office trashed him to the media, fined him and suspended him. And he still worked it out, rededicated himself to his faith, and went out and won two championships, compared to the wonderful careers Roberts and Rony Seikaly had.

    Sorry, I have a hard time painting Dream as the bad guy here...
     
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