Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 7/20/12
Five things Im thinking about this weekend while buying up Rockets tickets I can sell online later at an enormous markup. Note: Im not really doing that. 1. Something that seems true (and totally is): The Rockets are aiming for next year to be the big year. It starts with Dwight Howard reportedly saying he wont sign an extension with any team, but it continues with what general manager Daryl Morey said Thursday at the Jeremy Lin news conference. In the interest of fairness, Im going to include all of a very long quote. This was Morey responding to a question about getting close to signing star players, but not actually completing the deals: Well, I mean, other teams dont really give away great players. Getting them is hard, and its my job to do it. I think we really like where were at. The Bulls have a decision there and if we sign Omer (Asik), were pretty comfortable there. Thats a team that in a very tough Western Conference is gonna fight for the playoffs and be fighting the whole way. Itll be a tough goal for them. But we like the way were set up. Nearly the most cap room in the league, great trade flexibility and four of our rookies in the Vegas summer league were voted top 11. Obviously thats early and theyve got a lot to prove from here, but theyve got a lot of potential. We need a few of those guys to emerge to a high level like Chandler (Parsons) did last year and then we can address those issues with cap room and trade and we should be very well set up going into next year. That all said, if we can get a trade done this year, great, then we can get to a different level this year, but were pretty comfortable with where were at. Im not criticizing here. That all sounds totally reasonable, and I found it refreshingly informative. 2. Something that doesnt seem true (but totally is): Texas A&M and Missouri are going to be solid SEC teams this season. Forgive me, but I need to unload a rant here. I dont mean theyre going to win their divisions or anything, but this business about the SEC just shattering these two teams into a billion pieces has started to get a little out of hand. Yes, the SEC is the best football conference in America, just ahead of the Big 12, from whence Texas A&M and Missouri came. Texas A&M and Missouri might both be better than Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Tennessee this year. Because guess what: Just being in the SEC doesnt make you better. Some of the teams in the SEC just plain stink, and theyd stink in the ACC, theyd stink in the Pac-12, theyd stink in the Big Ten, theyd stink in the Big 12 (and be pretty competitive in the Big East). Alabama and LSU playing against each other in the national championship game doesnt mean Kentucky is better than Missouri. Mississippi has two SEC teams, but the best team in the state last year played in Conference USA. Certainly the Tigers and Aggies are going to have to adjust to SEC defenses, but SEC defenses are going to have to adjust to their offenses too. 3. Something that is neither true nor untrue (but is fun to talk about): Jeremy Lin and Yao Ming are not similar in any meaningful way, and we should stop comparing them immediately. Lin and Yao are both NBA players of Asian descent. There. Thats the end of their similarities. Yao was a 7-foot-6 No. 1 draft pick expected to carry the weight of a franchise and the nation of China on his shoulders. Lin is an undrafted 6-3 point guard. Yao was born in China, became a star in China and returned to China after his playing career. Yaos first Thanksgiving, he did not recognize the food on the table. Yao is Chinese. Lin was born in Los Angeles, went to college in the Boston area and visits his family in California. Lin is American. Lin is more like Tim Tebow than Yao Ming. 4. Something that recently happened: At Lins news conference Thursday, he had the following exchange with a reporter: Reporter: What denomination are you, because I know that you went to Harvard and Harvard has Lin: Nondenominational. Reporter: OK, because Harvard has no religious affiliation. Did that affect your choice to go to Harvard? Lin: No, in terms of Harvard, I wanted to play basketball and that was the place I felt I could play. 5. Something that is about to happen: It is going to be a big year in Houston sports. Lin already has attracted more total spotlight wattage than the Rockets did all of last season, and the Texans are a trendy Super Bowl pick with a marketable star in Arian Foster. Further, the city is hosting the NBA All-Star Game in February. So, you know, put on your good jeans, Houston. People are watching.
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