Every-Thing Sports

Texans finally trade Clowney, and it is yet another bad move

Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group

The saga that was Jadeveon Clowney versus Bill O'Brien has finally come to an end. Word came down that the Texans have moved the talented edge rusher to the Seattle Seahawks. They get a third round pick, linebacker Jacob Martin, and edge rusher Barkevious Mingo in return. The will he/won't he back and forth has played out over the last couple seasons. Clowney played last season under the fifth year option on his rookie deal and was franchise tagged for this coming season. He refused to sign the tender after not coming to agreement with the Texans on a long-term extension. This was among the rumored reasons Brian Gaine was fired. But why not make this move earlier to get back a bigger haul?

Playing checkers, or really bad chess

The Texans organization has a history of playing checkers, or really bad chess when it comes to making moves. This trade is no different. I said this over a year ago that they need to trade Clowney if they know they don't want to give into his potential contract demands. But what did they do instead? Sit on their thumbs and wait until the situation was a total cluster before they made a move. that's how you lose at chess and checkers.

Stubborness and ego

Bill O'Brien now holds the most power in the Texans buiding by anyone not named McNair. That's a scary proposition for Texans fans. His ego, stubborness, and feelings are going to drive this team into the ground. Where have I heard that before? Anyway, moving on. To say he's a spaghetti noodle over .500 for his career and has won a terrible division a couple times, he sure is full of himself. Those types of things lead to your downfall. While I didn't like the hokey aww shucks persona of Gary Kubiak or the robotic mannerisms of Dom Capers, O'Brien has rubbed me the wrong way on another level.

Waiting on the payoff

While Texans fans sit back and wonder when their team will actually be a legit contender, they'll have to do so in hopes it gets done before they waste more stars. DeAndre Hopkins and JJ Watt aren't going to be All-Pros forever. Deshaun Watson will be up for a massive contract extension soon. The window is closing and closing fast. Time waits for no man. Cal and Janice McNair may have some tough decisions coming soon, and I'm not talking about contract extensions. What do they do if this season is an abject failure? They need to take advantage of Andrew Luck retiring NOW! Moving one of the best young edge rushers for peanuts on the dollar is not a sign of going for it.

Fortunately the season is upon us. Fans no longer have to worry about when Clowney will report, or what shape will he be in, or if he'll return next year. He's gone now. Off to the land of Texans rejects in the great Northwest. This will be a turning point season in franchise history I believe. Either O'Brien will finally show off his "smarter than everyone else" mantle he's given himself with his actions, or the McNair's will clean house and start over from the ground up. I don't see this going any other way. Wait a minute...there's always historic precedence to consider. There's an extreme high probability they could go "9-7 and win the AFC South" again. To which I say to Texans fans: enjoy purgatory.

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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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