Every-Thing Sports

Here's who really deserves the credit for O'Brien getting fired

Give credit where credit is due. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Did you hear those cheers all over the city around 3-4pm? They were loud, joyous, and audible from anywhere in the Houston metro area. Word on the street is they could be heard as far east as Beaumont and Lake Charles, as far north as Huntsville and Livingston. Hill Country and Galveston were able to hear them as well. Bill O'Brien is no longer employed by the Houston Texans!

This has been a long time coming and way overdue in most people's opinions. He's set this franchise up for failure. Now he's left a flaming hot dumpster fire of a mess behind for the next regime to come in and attempt to clean up. But why now? Why was he finally fired after an 0-4 start this season when there were so many other reasons and opportunities to get rid of him before? I'll tell you why. More importantly, I'll tell you who I believe is responsible! Me! That's who!

Recently, I started writing a series of articles titled Not my job. It was named after one O'Brien's infamous soundbites saying "it's not my job to do that." In games, and losses, against the Ravens, the Steelers, and the Vikings, O'Brien demonstrated his lack of coaching acumen. There were things that worked that he'd go away from inexplicably, strengths that he wouldn't or couldn't accentuate, and basic football 101 things he'd fumble at the most crucial times. I tried to be fair and honest without crushing the poor sap, but he was such an easy target, I couldn't help but take shots.

Then there was the time I compared him to that one uncle or friend we all have. You know who I'm talking about. The uncle who talks a lot of crap, but can't take it when he's the one getting roasted (Exhibit A: yelling back at a fan at halftime who tells him he sucks). Or that one friend who thinks they know everything and will stubbornly struggle instead of asking for help (Exhibit B: hiring an offensive coordinator, but foolishly choosing to call plays yourself). At the end of March, I appealed for my candidacy to replace O'Brien and the following week I laid out a plan for his exit.

I would like to take this time to tell the city of Houston and Texans fans thank you very much since I feel personally responsible for the removal of the cancerous tumor known as Bill O'Brien. I have it on good authority that team ownership, the McNair family, happen to be big fans of my work and hardcore fans of Gow Media in general. Sources have told me they pay close attention to this website, as well as ESPN 97.5, and more recently 92.5 when they're out at their ranch. These sources have also told me that there will be an exhaustive search for the new head coach and general manager.

My name was tossed into the ring, but because they appreciate my opinions in the realm I'm currently in, they'd hate to lose my valued contributions on this end of things. I'd like to thank the McNair family for alleviating this city and franchise of the infected boil on the butt cheek of this city/franchise. They managed to lance and drain it before it became too cancerous. Too bad that it spread, or else it would be easier to overcome. Now we'll have to wait until the new hires are made to see what's next. Fortunately, things can't get any worse right? Let's look forward to what is to come and not what was.

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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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