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Speaking of Rashard

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by DCkid, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. DCkid

    DCkid Contributing Member

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    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/sports/blinebury/1378614



    <b>Rockets can only watch as Lewis becomes a man</b>
    By FRAN BLINEBURY
    Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle
    SAN ANTONIO -- There were other places he could have been this season.

    Perhaps at the University of Maryland, still bathing in the afterglow of a hard-earned NCAA championship with Juan Dixon and his fellow senior-class Terrapins.

    Maybe in another NBA city, even closer to his own backyard.

    Surely, this is the way Rashard Lewis always envisioned the heat, the excitement, the drama of the playoffs.

    As at home in Texas as a chip in salsa.

    Taking the big shots. Making the big plays. Coming up so huge in the fourth quarter.

    What part of the highlight reel might have looked so good even if it had come in one of the Rockets' pin-striped clown suits?

    Was it the floater along the left baseline, where he went by Tim Duncan before eventually dropping the ball over Malik Rose while fouled?

    Was it the nerveless 16-foot jumper he stuck right into the maw of the Spurs' defense?

    Was it another strong and fearless baseline drive at the four-minute mark when San Antonio was threatening to get back up off the floor?

    This is the way it might have been for Lewis. The way it could have been for Lewis in Houston.

    Then maybe the Rockets wouldn't be sitting around catching the playoffs on TV for the third consecutive year and inventing new excuses.

    You remember Draft Night 1999.

    There was Lewis sitting in the back room, a picture of dejection as he fell completely out of the first round.

    There were the Rockets, their hands full with three first-round choices, who should have been the ones looking so sad for passing over him again and again.

    The kid out of Elsik had made no secret of his desire to play for his hometown team.

    But the Rockets took Michael Dickerson. Then Mircad Turkcan. Then Bryce Drew.

    Well, as Paul Harvey would say, we know the rest of the story.

    On Monday night at the Alamodome, it was all about Lewis as he scored 19 points and grabbed four rebounds as the Sonics evened their first-round series with a 98-90 victory over the Spurs.

    This was always going to be a tougher-than-expected matchup for the Spurs, especially now that David Robinson is sidelined with an aching back.

    With Gary Payton able to dominate the ball and control the pace of a game, the Sonics are a tough nut for anybody to crack.

    But it was Lewis, as much as the perennial All-Star Payton, who jumped on the Spurs' necks down the stretch, scoring 11 of his points in the fourth quarter.

    He didn't shrink from the clutch situation. He embraced it.

    He didn't wilt in the playoff heat. He played like he was wearing an asbestos jersey.

    Three years later, the Rockets will offer up reasons why they wouldn't take a flyer on the hometown kid. And those reasons are as worthless as Confederate currency.

    Yes, Dickerson became a valuable part of the trade that landed Steve Francis.

    But Turkcan? Drew? Neither ever could match up with Lewis. Even when Lewis was a high schooler.

    Back then, the Rockets were still so cautious, so reluctant to crawl out on the branch of drafting a teen-ager.

    It wasn't until last June when they finally dipped their toe into that water and plucked 19-year-old Eddie Griffin.

    They were insistent on getting shooters to play with Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley at the time. They had no foresight, no vision of the future.

    They could have had Lewis. They should have had Lewis. They didn't have to package picks and trade up to get him. He was a duck sitting on the pond, and they wouldn't pull the trigger.

    Two years ago, when Lewis' rookie contract was up, the Rockets made a few overtures. But Lewis stayed with the Sonics.

    Now the hometown kid has an option on his contract coming up again this summer. He has another year left on the new deal he signed with Seattle, but he will choose to become a free agent.

    On the open free-agent market, Lewis likely will find only Chicago and Indiana with enough money to fit under the salary cap.

    Expect the Rockets to at least pick up the phone and offer him the middle-class exception -- about $5 million per year with a maximum of seven years.

    Problem is, even if Seattle doesn't want to max out Lewis, they could offer him a lesser deal, and it would still total $80 million.

    Does anybody miss home that much -- $45 million worth?

    He also could sign another shorter contract, say three years, with Seattle and then come home to Houston after that, in his prime. But does he owe the Rockets that consideration after they snubbed him?

    He is, naturally, exactly what the Rockets need. A slick, quick, small forward in a 6-10 body. The kind of player who can make a mockery of defensive matchups.

    He is only on the verge of coming into his own. He won't be 23 until August. So many more years, so many more big games ahead of him.

    You saw him slither along the baseline and making the tough baskets. You saw him stand at the free throw line and stroke a perfect 7-for-7.

    You closed your eyes and pictured him doing it for the Rockets.

    They had their chance.

    There's no place like home to make a guy feel unwanted.
     
  2. DearRock

    DearRock Contributing Member

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    Cannot ague with that.
     
  3. GATER

    GATER Contributing Member

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  4. DCkid

    DCkid Contributing Member

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    I know, I even looked for the article at the top of the page, thinking someone probably already posted it this morning. Little did I know that Drewdog posted it a 1:04 a.m.
     
  5. ROXTXIA

    ROXTXIA Contributing Member

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    We might be able to trade for the guy, but as the article says, we coulda had him outright.
     
  6. Smokey

    Smokey Contributing Member

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    Blinebury is right about one thing. Rashard isn't going to have any sympathy for the Rockets (and why should he?). Rashard says CD told him if he was available the Rockets would take him. CD denies it. Rashard was the last player in the green room....he had tears in his eyes when he was passed up by more than 29 teams.

    I'll never understand why that bastid Rudy drafted Drew and Turkcan. Sure, Rudy has drafted great steals (including Mobley in round 2), but passing on Rashard was stupid....3 number one picks, we could have taken a chance.
     
  7. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    hindsight is 20/20 ....

    If we did pick him up, would we have francis? Maybe we would have webber .. maybe duncan ... who knows. who
     
  8. giddyup

    giddyup Contributing Member

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    I'm sure this is a re-hashing but look who else passed on Rashard (after Houston picked #18):

    Milwaukee
    Atlanta
    Charlotte
    Clippers
    Denver
    San Antonio
    Indiana
    Lakers (twice)
    Seattle (Sam Jaconson instead)
    Chicago
    Utah
    Dallas

    We were in good company when we bypassed the kid. It sure would be nice to have him home: Bill Willoughby with a jumpshot.
     
  9. TBar

    TBar Contributing Member

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    Remember how bad we needed a real point guard then. Rudy and CD passed up an unproven High school player-we needed help right then- not a speculative prospect. This is pointless- no one could have known that Lewis would become the player he is now.

    Rudy drafted Dickerson- a very good player, and Drew as a backup. There was nothing wrong with this strategy.

    Blineberry hates the Rockets- with his corny metaphors. Let him be a hater-ignore him...
     
  10. Live

    Live Member

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    Problem is, TBar, Drew wasn't a real PG, he was a combo G.

    And there were 2 other players almost identical to him on the roster already.

    If he really wanted a PG, Tyronn Lue is more of a PG than Drew.

    Ditto for Turcksan (sp?). (Bullard)

    Rudy & Co. dropped the ball on this draft, hindsight or not. True illustration of drafting players to fit 'the system', regardless of who's on board.

    My fear is that they are going to compound the problem by over-paying for Lewis.

    Forget Lewis and Odom, and get in position to draft Butler or Woods, that's my suggestion.
     
    #10 Live, Apr 23, 2002
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2002
  11. kidrock8

    kidrock8 Member

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    So I guess Bryce Drew and Turckan were supposed to be immediate help????

    hahahahahaha.

    Turckan bolstered our IL, but that's about it.
     
  12. bigboymumu

    bigboymumu Member

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    Bring Lewis home!
     
  13. TIburon

    TIburon Member

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    I can see what he's saying but com'n guys... The day I agree with Blinebury is the day I hate the Rockets... SORRY AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!!!


    Look think about the situation we were in that season. Clyde just retired, we had no PG(Cassell traded for Barkley), no SF(Horry traded for Barkley) and no SG(the Glyde retired)... Plus the loses of Chucky Brown in the trade for Barkley...

    You don't have to be scientists to figure out why they took Seniors coming from College and a a player who had played in Europe for 3-4 years...

    They took Drew because he could flat out shoot and the same for Dickerson... Mirsad Turkcan was a physical SF that could rebound very well(reminds me of Detlef Schrempf)... Then some 2nd rounder what was his name CUTTINO MOBLEY!!!

    That was the season that was cut short 50 game season(still don't count that championship for anything that San Antonio won wasn't a real season-they played a college season)...

    And for those who will say "yeah but none of those guys did anything for us especially Drew, Dickerson and Turkcan"

    We always add guys that others doubted and make them better players from Randy Livingston(Seattle), Sam Cassell(Milwaukee), Robert Horry(Alabama), Chucky Brown(on some team), to Othella Harrington(NY)... So don't think we couldn't have gotten solid play out of Turkcan(because we will never know)...

    Drew and Dickerson were drafted for their shooting and Turkcan for his defense and rebounding... In Lewis's first season did he do either well???? NOOOOO!!!!!! Why because he was a HS kid still playing with the big boys...

    Now would Houston have done it differently??? Sure they would have, had they known that Olajuwon would miss almost the entire season and Barkley miss just as much time... It wasn't a rebuilding season, we were still trying to win one more(especially for Barkley)..

    So if you want to complain....fine just understand that were trying to win NOW not in 3-4 season where now Barkley is retired and Olajuwon is a Raptor(I hate saying that- I'm sorry but Lenny Wilkens has no clue how to use a big man at all-he should be their 2nd or 3rd option but he's like #6 which is terrible-OH WELL HE WANTED TO LEAVE)...

    Oh yes he was the one that left not the ROX not paying him enough crap...
     
  14. TIburon

    TIburon Member

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    Sorry I was going to also say I would love to have Rashard Lewis here at the 3...

    I would give them our top pick this season but they must take Glenn Rice also and if we really had to.... give Kenny Thomas...
    The Seattle Supersonics are where we were during the Lewis draft... Do they go for it all and take Rice and the 1st rd. pick and go a season for it all???

    Reason I would give up the pick is because we don't need to get younger(even if we added a senior player we would still get younger). Even if we take Rashard Lewis we get younger But he has 3-4 years of NBA experience...

    So I would do almost anything to add a player like Lewis but they would have to take Rice and if we had to give them someone else then it would have to be Thomas...

    I really see us next season at the end of games with Taylor and Griffin playing together with Taylor defending the big man since he's 260 and Griffin helping out with his shotblocking skills...
     
  15. leebigez

    leebigez Contributing Member

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    Taylor couldn't guard rueben patterson last yr now he's suppose to guard centers. There's a reason why he only played 28mins per game and it was called foul trouble. Griffin is a undeveloped 4 who needs to work on his game, but he's a much better option at the 4 than taylor. Eventually later, taylor will be traded if Griffin becomes the payer evryone thinks he'll become. * mil for a bench man makes no sense.
     
  16. drpepper

    drpepper Member

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    Q: Could we offer Lewis our $5 mill. exception for two or three years, then give him a fat contract, or does it have to be seven years?


    That situation would be ideal because we could still draft Butler or Woods with our 5th pick and pick up a big man with #15. We would then have a nice deep team.

    He said he would come to Houston for less money, but that could be just him tring to get more $$$$$.
     
  17. Smokey

    Smokey Contributing Member

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    Just a correction, Barkley was traded to Houston after the '96 season. Maloney and Price were our PG's going into the draft. We had no starting SG (Drexler retirement) or SF (Elie signed with SA). The Rockets did trade for Pippen before the start of the season to play SF.

    If I remember correctly we had a rookie backcourt - Mobley (a definite steal in the 2nd round) and Dickerson. Drew was our 3rd string PG behind Price. After the Francis trade, Drew never played much and his career went down the drain.

    I guess it all evens out. You win some, you lose some. Just frustrating to know you could have had it.
     

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