Poor Daryl Morey. He's always the bridesmaid, never the bride, or whatever metaphor you want to apply to a general manager who keeps coming up short. For all his IQ points, Morey can never quite land the big fish.
He seemed to score a win by getting Pau Gasol before the start of last season. Of course, David Stern had other ideas, and "the veto" became known more as a Lakers plight than a Daryl disappointment.
He whiffed on getting Chris Bosh back in 2010. The recent Dwight drama landed Howard in Laker land, despite Morey's rumored pining for the wishy-washy big. For Houston's GM, there is always a drumroll that seemingly leads to...another drumroll.
Daryl Morey did have one coup, though, and it remains to be seen how successful it will be.
Jeremy Lin was separated from the Knicks thanks in part to the "poison pill" contract that the Rockets offered. With some creative accounting, Houston made it prohibitively expensive for New York to retain Linsanity.
Knicks owner James Dolan bowed out; recriminations ensued.
Now that the dust has settled, we have Jeremy Lin in Houston, standing before an odd tenor of apathy. It's no secret that big markets can drive stories, but you would think that Jeremy could get a bit more publicity for his Houston solo act.
Well, perhaps this slickly produced video can restore some buzz.
Lin's attempt at an Internet viral video is almost refreshing in how different it is. This is professional. This is contrived. This is nothing like sleeping on your buddy's couch as you take an improbable shot at an NBA career.
I don't think the contrivance is such a bad thing for Jeremy at this juncture. He is a very famous player who wishes to be more than a novelty item. There is no reason to pretend otherwise or to try staying "humble," whatever that means.
I hope that this is the new, Houston Rocket Jeremy Lin.
Lin's problem is simply his team. The Houston Rockets should stink, as they are more a trade-pieces mash-up than a real basketball team. Luis Scola was amnestied in anticipation of Dwight Howard's arrival (snicker).
They have three first-round rookies (Jeremy Lamb, Royce White, Terrence Jones), but none are high lottery selections. After next season, the Rockets have a scant $22 million in committed salary.
Kevin Martin—the closest thing to a star on this squad—is still with the team, but for only one more season. Omer Asik brings defense, but it remains to be seen if can he do so in a starting, high-minute role.
Faith in this roster means faith in Daryl Morey, and Morey keeps (unintentionally) betraying that faith. Jeremy Lin's Rockets could be a great spotlight for the young point guard, but not because he's surrounded by talent. He just might look fantastic relative to young, mistake-prone teammates.
In other words, expect Jeremy to call his own number a lot. If we're lucky, we could be treated to more performances like this: