Apr 6, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) guards Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Six Degrees of Lebron James

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Red Nation! My fellow fans! It has been a long, long time since I have written one of these, but to quote a wise man: “FINALLY… The Tristan Taylor has come back… home.” Now I have been busy with various things, mainly academics, but I did notice these things after our beloved Houston Rockets got eliminated: Our respected rivals, the San Antonio Spurs won their fifth NBA Championship.

As a Lebron James fan, it was hard to swallow. I was one of the small minorities that was pulling for the Heat to 3-Peat, but apparently, when the Heat lose, America wins. Which takes me to this subject. When you read this title, you’re probably going to say: “This has nothing to do with the Rockets. Lebron Stan.” Oh, I beg to differ.

Mar 19, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first quarter of a game against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When all the silver and black confetti was cleaned up in San Antonio, the draft was over in New York, it was now time for the free agency period. Only one big free agent signed before Lebron made his decision. That was Kyle Lowry, a former Rocket, coincidentally. Two people held the free agency period hostage by its throat. One is Carmelo Anthony. You might have heard of him. The other is Lebron James. This is The Six Degrees of Lebron and how it pertains to the Rockets’ offseason.

Now, if you recall, the Rockets wanted to go for broke this offseason and add a third star to the duo of Dwight Howard and James Harden. They knew (and I knew) that they weren’t in the Lebron sweepstakes, so… Plan A was Carmelo Anthony. He was in the same draft class as Lebron in 2003, along with his now ex-teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. He was also Olympic teammates with them on the “Redeem Team” in 2008.

Now, I’m sure you remember the Rockets jersey fiasco. Ballsy. Hell, you probably saw it on the screen outside Toyota Center. But, hey, THAT didn’t work, now did it? All of that… and he stayed in New York. Something tells me somebody else was behind that decision. Do you, Melo. Do you.

Moving on..Plan B, as you know, was Chris Bosh. Multiple time all star. Two time NBA Champion. Olympic Medalist. The pride of Dallas, Texas. He actually opted out to become a free agent, hoping Lebron would stay in Miami.

Jun 15, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) dunks the ball over Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) during the second quarter in game five of the 2014 NBA Finals at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Jun 15, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) dunks the ball over Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) during the second quarter in game five of the 2014 NBA Finals at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Now this one was a little more complicated. The Rockets made Chandler Parsons a restricted free agent to make room salary cap wise. They also traded Jeremy Lin to the Lakers and Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans. Cue Mark Cuban. He steals Chandler Parsons. Now the Rockets are on a ticking three-day time bomb.

What happens? Lebron says he’s going to Cleveland. We get a verbal commitment from Bosh… or so we think. At the last possible hour, Bosh stays in Miami with his teammate Dwyane Wade, angering everybody in Red Nation. Oh, and besides, we lost Chandler Parsons to the Mavs. Three years and $46 million? Damn it Cuban. Never wanted to see Parsons in a Mavericks uniform. Yeah, that pissed me off.

Next, Trevor Ariza. NBA Champion, pride of Los Angeles, California. Why am I counting him, you say? Well… He is simply the one who will replace Chandler Parsons at small forward. I know we had bad history with him back in 2010. That was because nobody was on the team. Trevor was counted to be “The Man.” No. He was bad in that role. Insert him in that role he had with the Wizards last year, and he’ll be okay. He’s a wing defender that can shoot threes. So, he’s a Plan… how many letters we got left?

Mar 27, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Isaiah Canaan (1) shoots during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

So, as of now, this offseason hasn’t been too kind to the Rockets. So far their roster is this, alongside D12 and The Beard: Jeff Adrien, a former Rocket rebounder from a couple of years ago, the aforementioned Trevor Ariza, the “Red Wolverine” Patrick Beverley, Isaiah Canaan, who is showing promise in this year’s Summer League. Isaiah Canaan is showing some shades of Aaron Brooks. Instant offense, speedy.

Some others are: Clint Capela, the Rockets’ first round draft pick. I heard he’s working with Hakeem too. That’s always a good thing. Another one of the sharpshooting Vipers, Robert Covington. The next Mario Elie, Troy Daniels. Another former Rocket, Joey Dorsey. (I saw him at GameStop once) The former Cavalier, Alonzo Gee. He can be promising as well. Scotty Hopson, a 6’7″ swingman from Tennessee, Terrence Jones, the Rockets’ power forward. Nick Johnson, the Rockets’ 2nd round pick, an undersized but skillful guard out of Arizona. He is predominantly known for his defense. His weakness is his shot. That concerns me.

Donatas Motiejunas also looks very promising this year. When I first saw him, I saw Zydrunas Ilgauskas in him. Now I’m seeing that potential in him in this year’s Summer League. His post skills are improving, he’s not rushing, but he needs to learn to play defense without fouling. Oh, and those threes. Learn not to shoot those unless you’re open, sir.

Josh Powell was the third center on the Rockets for the playoffs from last year, didn’t really play. Now, Ish Smith is another one of those really fast point guards. He can’t shoot worth a damn though. I will say this though. The Rockets have actual point guard skill this year.

The only thing missing is a sixth man who’s a vet who can score. Hmm…Ray Allen? Shawn Marion? The Matrix can be reborn! Or you can go the other route and get a veteran big man, like Emeka Okafor. Or should we just break down and give Francisco Garcia another chance? He doesn’t have a team! Nonetheless, it’s only July.

We still have two more months until the season starts. Until then, it’s just purely speculation. Huh. You feel better about this offseason, huh? And when it all comes down to it, it all began with one person. LeBron James. As the great Albert Einstein said: “Everything is relative.”

And if you don’t know… now you know.

Stick with us at House of Houston for all the latest on the Rockets’ offseason. Click here for all the latest stories!

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