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Carmelo and three other bad Houston sports decisions

Houston has dealt with a fair amount of misses. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Thoughts and prayers to Carmelo Anthony as his “illness” continues to deter him from getting back on the court with your Houston Rockets. I haven’t heard specific details of the illness, but it has to be pretty bad if it’s kept him off the court for three straight games (2-1). Okay, screw it. We all know he’s not sick and the Rockets and Carmelo are going to mutually part ways. I love that the Rockets have always been willing to swing for the fences in order to try and win at the highest level, but Melo was obviously never going to be a fit at this point of his career. Let’s relive some Houston sports decisions that went sideways.

Carmelo to Rockets

If you discard the “Hoodie Melo” narrative where people wanted to believe he was secretly still a great player based on how he played in video footage of pickups games while wearing a hoodie, you can see that Melo is over. At least the version we once knew is over. It’s been years since Melo was a factor for a winning organization and his inability to defend never matched with the newfound mindset the Rockets adopted last season. Did we mention he’s doesn’t shoot 3’s well?

Pippen vs. Barkley

In the 1998-1999 season, the Rockets added 33-year old Scottie Pippen to the duo of Charles Barkley (34) and Hakeem Olajuwon (35). The old got older. While age was a big problem, the personalities of Pippen and Barkley were bigger issues. Barkley had a hard time getting along with Clyde Drexler by their second year together, and it took even less time for his relationship with Pippen to implode. Pippen started trash talking Barkley publicly to basically force the Rockets to deal him before the 1999-2000 season.

Brokedown Ed Reed

Coming off of a season of injury and game tape that was below par, the Houston Texans decided they needed to add the Patriots killer, Ed Reed, to the roster in order to finally get over the hump against New England. Now, it’s worth noting that Ed Reed had a tear in his hip labrum that he did not disclose which meant the Texans couldn’t check for it during the free agency period. Of course he was hurt most of the year, wasn’t good when he could play, and bad-mouthed Wade Phillips on the way out. Quick question. Why did the Texans think it was a good idea to let a young safety in Glover Quin go so they could add a guy who was basically finished? Smart move, guys.

GoGo a NoNo for Astros

The Astros were used to being extremely terrible when 2015 started, but all of a sudden, they found themselves in the midst of a surprise season with young talent bolstering their improvement. The Astros decided that adding Carlos Gomez, another bat, to the outfield would improve their chances of making the playoffs. “GoGo” was a high strikeout player with just average power, but the Astros apparently saw something they felt should be added to their young core. Gomez had just 385 at-bats as an Astros with 9 homeruns and 131 strikeouts. And….. they traded Josh Hader as part of the package for him. Hader is pretty, pretty good. We all know that Jeff Luhnow turned the Astros into a World Series winner, but this move? Not so great. At least we got to see GoGo’s helmet fly off on missed swings at least seven times per game.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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