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Houston Chron: Mobley made himself fan favorite

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Nova, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. Nova

    Nova Member

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    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/2654683

    Mobley made himself fan favorite
    Second-rounder had offensive fire, defensive moxie; following Hakeem was Cato's burden

    By JEROME SOLOMON
    Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

    For the better part of the past six years, when the Rockets needed to put the brakes on a perimeter scorer, they called on the Cat. And more often than not, Cuttino Mobley indeed slammed on the brakes. But the wiry veteran couldn't stop the trade with Orlando that will end his Rockets career.

    Mobley, his backcourt mate Steve Francis and forward-center Kelvin Cato are headed to the land of Disney for Orlando superstar guard-forward Tracy McGrady, forward Juwan Howard and guards Tyronn Lue and Reece Gaines.

    To those who don't know better, Mobley might be considered a throw-in to the deal involving All-Star regulars Francis and McGrady.

    But the numbers say Mobley is far from that. He has dented the Rockets' career charts, ranking second in 3-pointers made, seventh in steals, eighth in minutes and ninth in points.

    This wouldn't be the first time Mobley, 30, has been underrated. The 6-4 guard was the 41st player taken in the 1998 NBA draft — a second-round pick from Rhode Island with no guarantees of a job.

    Mobley said he came to town intent on heeding advice he picked up from Nick Van Exel, words to live by for an underdog hoping to make it in the NBA: "You have to make a name for yourself. Make them want you. Make them love you."

    Starting with making a game-winning jumper in his second game, he did make a name for himself, despite not being the first player the Rockets drafted in 1998. Nor the second. Nor the third.

    The Rockets picked Michael Dickerson and Bryce Drew with the 14th and 16th picks overall, and the duo combined to play all of three seasons for the Rockets.

    The Rockets grabbed Mirsad Turkcan with the 18th selection that year, and the forward from Turkey gave thanks by never donning an NBA jersey.

    Six years later, Mobley ranks fifth in his draft class with 7,448 points, trailing only Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki and Antawn Jamison.

    Mobley, who chose not to leave the Rockets when he was a free agent in 2000, departs as a crowd favorite because of his hustle, mostly cheerful disposition and friendly manner off the court.

    The gym rat regular at NBA pickup games during the offseason has become one of the more popular members of the NBA players' fraternity.

    He made you love him.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum is the enigmatic Cato, 29, who didn't seem to care whether he was liked.

    His work ethic was questioned by teammates, coaches and management, and many Rockets fans never warmed to the 6-11 forward-center from Iowa State.

    It is barely a stretch to say several radio talk shows would have difficulty filling their allotted time were it not for frequent calls complaining about Cato's hustle — or lack thereof — and his six-year, $42 million contract, thought to be a burden on the Rockets' salary cap.

    Though it's almost laughable now, the Rockets expected Cato to fill the void of the soon-to-leave Hakeem Olajuwon when they put together the questionable deal in 2000.

    He showed more flashes of bling around his neck than flashes of brilliance on the court the next few years.

    In interviews where he would promise to play better and regain his motivation, Cato would often hit on the truth over the next few years with a simple statement:

    "I can't replace Dream," he said.

    Few thought he could.

    More wonder if he ever tried.

    jerome.solomon@chron.com
     
  2. CBrownFanClub

    CBrownFanClub Contributing Member

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    Cato dogging is so 2001.
     
  3. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    Cat was definitely my favorite player for all the reasons stated. I hope he gets seperated from Francis so he can show what he can really do.
     
  4. Rileydog

    Rileydog Contributing Member

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    I admire Cuttino Mobley for his toughness, unselfishness to the team and ability. I hope he separates from Francis and becomes an all star. He is far more deserving.
     
  5. Nova

    Nova Member

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    Mobely was my favorite Rockets player. I'm sad to see him go, but I hope Francis and Mobley don't get split up, I want to see them go on and do great things.
     
  6. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    Francis should have hired a publicist.


    Honestly, I'm glad people started to appreciate the things one of our guards did well.
     
  7. carayip

    carayip Member

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    It's too bad for Mobley that even he's getting traded, he still can't get away from Francis.

    I would like to see what he can do with a true point guard alongside him in a backcourt.
     
  8. carayip

    carayip Member

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    And yeah, my best wishes to Cat Mobley wherever he goes.
     
  9. Rivaldo2181

    Rivaldo2181 Contributing Member

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    You fans are full of ****!!! Until last season when Steve became public enemy #1, Mobley was the most hated player on the Rockets and was blamed for every single fault the Rox had. The guy was blamed for shooting too much, dribbling too much and not being a team player. Now he's everyone's favorite? You fans who say you have always liked him are full of ****.
     
  10. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker I lost a bet

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    You haven't been around here that long, but many of us have loved Cat since he became a Rocket. He has been my favorite player since Barkley retired. One of our most beloved posters ;) The Cat was certainly a big fan, along with many others. You do not know what you are talking about. There are certainly plenty of people who recently jumped on the Mobley bandwagon, but there are others that have been fans for a long, long time.
     
  11. Stack24

    Stack24 Contributing Member

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    Of all the players i have met here at the Club and became friends with i would have to say Cat has always been the class act and is one of the nicest guys. Really modest and always a good person. Im really going to miss the guy.
     
  12. Rockets2K

    Rockets2K Clutch Crew

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    yea SM, its funny how some johnny-come-lately canget on here and think he knows who everyone likes and doesnt like.

    I can guarantee that amongst those of us who have been fans from BY(before Yao), we always loved his hustle, heart and charisma.

    there is a bunch of us already thinking about putting together a tribute site to show our thanks and love for the Cat.

    He always got plenty of support from fans that actually know ball..
     
  13. SmeggySmeg

    SmeggySmeg Contributing Member

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    when did Cat turn 30, he is 28 turning 29 in september
     
  14. codell

    codell Contributing Member

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    Because Cats age faster than normal humans.

    :p
     
  15. Man

    Man Contributing Member

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    Mobley's 30? lol..time goes by fast :p

    Yeah I loved Cat. I hope he plays well in Orlando..but that Florida Today writer might be disappointed cuz he is not a sharpshooting 3 point shooter...
     
  16. Severe Rockets Fan

    Severe Rockets Fan Takin it one stage at a time...

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    You forgot the 'peace' after your usual tirade. :rolleyes:
     
  17. Rockets2K

    Rockets2K Clutch Crew

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    ah contrare....

    although a bit streaky at times, Cat could indeed knock down the 3ball with alarming regularity when he was on.
     
  18. Mr. Mooch

    Mr. Mooch Contributing Member

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    Great pic:

    [​IMG]


    And I hope to see many more of these in the coming years on the same floor:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Rivaldo2181

    Rivaldo2181 Contributing Member

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    I've been a Rox fan since '91, ever since I moved here...I listen to sports radio 610 almost all day at work and KNOW the kind of criticism Cat received the years he has been here. Last season was the first where he was criticised very little b/c everyone jumped on the "I hate Steve" bandwagon. I am not some new Rockets fan who jumped on the bandwagon when Yao came here. Fans are so fickle and forget so easily how idiotic they are at times. I am sure there are those that have supported cat but the majority have hated on him for most of his time here and for the media to act like they never hated on him is embarassing. PEACE!!!
     
  20. Qball

    Qball Contributing Member

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    Bring Mobley Back. Give them some future picks and reece gaines for him.

    Imagine the line up (atleast after JJ leaves)


    SG: T-mac/Mobley
    SF: T-mac/Boki

    That rotation would be solid.
     

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