One time I was going to the airport at lunchtime, and I kept looking for somewhere to stop for grub, but I was in a hurry, so it had to be right there off the highway and convenient or I drove past it, because I did not have time to waste. So I drove and drove, past everything, and before I knew it I was in the terminal, paying 7 for a soggy turkey sandwich on stale bread.
Know the feeling? I bet Rockets general manager Daryl Morey does.
The Houston Rockets, as you know, have agreed to pay a tall Turkish man named Omer Asik 25 million over the next three years. Until now, Omer has been playing for the Chicago Bulls, who thought he was so good they stored him on the bench for 22 of a typical game's 36 minutes. In an average game, Omer takes two shots and two free throws, makes one of each, and gets five rebounds. He also blocks a shot.
Eight million bucks a year.
The Bulls had previously indicated they would match any offer for Asik, though it seems they did not anticipate an offer quite this generous. So this is what it has come to. The Rockets are in an imaginary bidding war for a former second-round pick that averages three points per game. This is the Rockets' offseason. This is the 8 million Turkish sandwich on stale bread.
This is the offseason that just a week ago was all about getting Dwight Howard, who poked the Rockets' sunburn by saying Monday he was only interested in one team (which we all assume to be the Brooklyn Nets).
I could rip. You could rip. We all could rip and make jokes and have a jolly good time. It would be deserved. I just don't know if it would be worthwhile.
Morey knows the fans are disappointed because he's disappointed too. He did everything he could to get Howard, and it didn't work. He doesn't need any of us to tell him this was not the kind of offseason anybody was hoping for around here.
So the question is not, Are you disappointed? The question is, Do you think Morey is competent?
I have a hard time arguing he is not. He seems to have the respect of his peers. He seems to have a clear and a well-articulated plan about how he wants to run the franchise. And for the most part he seems to be able to execute that plan. It's rare day you come away thinking some agent or general manager pulled a fast one on Morey.
Monday was one of those rare days.
I'm not going to act like I know what the market was for Omer Asik, but the Bulls certainly seemed to be under the impression that it was something considerably less than 8 million per year. The Bulls had previously said retaining Asik was a top priority and that they would match any offers for the restricted free agent.
But the Bulls just found out you do not get in between the Rockets and a Turkish sandwich.
The Rockets, of course, are in this position because the only centers they have at the moment is somebody named Greg Smith, who you may remember from his illustrious career at Fresno State and . They're hoping to re-sign Marcus Camby, who you may remember from when he was the No. 2 pick in the last NBA draft before Tupac died.
They had Samuel Dalembert, who was like an old Jaguar in that he was awesome when he worked, which was about half the time. But they traded him to move up in the draft, which was all part of the plan to get Howard.
Now it's desperation time. It's "fill out the roster" time. It's time for the Turkish sandwich.
And it's not a good feeling.