If you’re a Houston Rocket fan, you can take comfort in the fact that the Rocket’s brass seems to be trying to do whatever they can to make that team a contender. They got rid of T-smack, picked up Brad Miller, which should help them out on the block and they re-signed Scola. But there’s one thing holding the Rocket’s back, and I hate to say it, but it’s Yao Ming. What’s the over and under on how many games Yao Ming plays this year? Right now zero is looking pretty accurate.
As much as Yao Ming makes the Rockets a contender when he’s in the lineup, he’s also the reason they’re not contenders when he’s out of the lineup. The problem with Yao is you just never know if he’ll be healthy to play. Even now, after missing an entire season, Yao is still not sure if he’ll be ready to play next year, he’s actually considering retirement. Read more.
Here’s the thing, Yao is one of those players that is so dynamic and so dominant when he’s on his game that a team really has no choice but to tailor their entire franchise around him. In a way, the Rockets are held hostage, waiting to see if Yao is going to be healthy for the upcoming season. If Yao is healthy, what are the chances that he lasts the entire season? The bottom line is nobody knows. The Rockets can’t move forward until they know the deal with Yao. Even Yao doesn’t sound sure about his future or the future of his foot.
Here’s the best case scenario for the Rockets fan. Yao finally gets healthy and plays this season, the Rockets miraculously make the playoffs and like every year the inevitable happens, they lose to the Lakers. Now here’s the worst case scenario, Yao gets healthy a few games into the season, the Rockets make the playoffs and lose to the Lakers and Yao gets hurt again.
If that worst case scenario happens, the Rockets will be in the same position they’re in now, groundhog day all over again, with management sitting on their hands mulling over Yao’s future while the team sits in limbo, building but not rebuilding, getting better, but not getting anywhere…Hey, at least Rockets fan is used to it.