Who is really the best guard?

Who is actually the best guard in Rocket history?

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This topic will be the hardest to discuss but needs the attention. In 49 years of Rocket basketball, there have been five outstanding guards. Neither Russell Westbrook nor Chris Paul will be discussed. Those two guards were not in Houston long enough to be discussed.

James Harden, Calvin Murphy, Steve Francis, Tracy McGrady, and Clyde Drexler are guards that Houston will never forget. These guys are the greatest guards to ever play in Houston. The question is who was the best one?

Let us begin with Calvin Murphy.

Calvin Murphy was ferocious scorer in college averaging 33.1 PPG at Niagara University. Murphy was also a three time All-American in college as well. In 1970, he then was selected by San Diego Rockets. Surprisingly, Murphy went in the second round of the NBA draft. Murphy was 5'9, but that never excluded him from dominating at his position. He was extremely quick and great around the basket. Murphy was also extremely good at getting his shot off around picks. That also never stopped him from getting 57 points against the New Jersey Nets on March 18, 1978.

Calvin Murphy - Murphy's Law youtu.be

In 1971, Murphy became Rookie of the Year and made the NBA All-Rookie Team. Nine years later, Murphy became an All-Star in 1979. Murphy finally retired in 1983 after 13 NBA seasons. While playing 13 seasons in Houston, he had 11 1,000 point seasons, 17, 949 career points, 1,165 steals, 4,402 assist. He was inducted in the Hall of Fame by 1993. The Houston Rockets retired his number 23 in the rafters.

People could think different because of the era Murphy played in. In opinion, Wilt Chamberlin retried within two years of his career, Bill Russell retired in 1969, and the Magic and Bird era started late in his career. Murphy did not have much competition in his career besides his buddy Pistol Pete Maravich and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Murphy says otherwise.

"Statically you got to look a James Harden being number one. Since he is been breaking my record I got to go with number two"

Clyde Drexler was traded to Houston in the 1994-1995 season. In that season, Houston became NBA Champions again. Drexler was a huge supporter by averaging 21.5 points ppg in the NBA finals. In the three and half years with the Rockets, Drexler averaged 19.2 ppg. The majority of his career was spent with the Portland Trailblazers, where he became a 10 time All-Star, along with the Rockets. Drexler was also on the 1992 Dream Team with Michael Jordan and won a gold medal. He made the All-NBA first team in 1992, All-NBA second team twice in 1988 and 1991, and All-NBA third team in 1990 and 1995. He finished his career with 22,195 points. Drexler had both jerseys retired in Portland and Houston. His historic NBA nickname is "Clyde the Glide Drexler" because he ran the floor so smoothly. Drexler was extremely athletic and played great defense. He made almost every highlight reel when it came to dunks. Drexler also made the Hall of Fame in 2004.

Clyde Drexler: Houston Rockets Reel youtu.be

It would be extremely hard to give Drexler the best guard in Rocket history. Drexler was in Houston for three and half years. His time in Houston was not long enough. People say that Drexler was at the end of his prime in Houston. Getting a chance to talk to TJ Ford, former NBA player, he thought different about Drexler.

"It is hard to give it Harden right now because he is still in his career. I have to go with Drexler because of his accomplishments in Houston"

Now the discussion moves to Steve Francis. In the 1999 NBA Draft, Francis was drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies with the second overall pick. Francis was not fond of playing in Vancouver so they traded him to the Rockets. Houston loved the quickness and athletic ability he brought from the University of Maryland. Just because Steve Francis was 6'3, it did not stop him from dunking on your favorite player. He was mostly known for his exciting crossovers and flashy dunks. In his first season as a Rocket, he became the 2000 Co-Rookie of the year and made All-NBA Rookie team. He also became a three time all-star and led the Rockets back to playoffs for the first time since 1999. Fans gave Francis the nick name "Franchise." Sadly, Francis was traded to Orlando for the rights to Tracy McGrady. Francis could not get along with Coach Jeff Van Gundy. He finished his Rocket tenured with 19.2 ppg and his career with 10, 446 points.

Steve Francis Crossovers and Dunks Tribute youtu.be

Francis was a tough keep because of his inability to not stop dribbling the ball as much. Plus the Rocket's office got afraid that his explosive ability would not keep him healthy. In reality, McGrady was the better player.

McGrady was traded to Houston in 2004 from the Orlando Magic. He was an elite scorer because of his 6'8 frame. McGrady had the ability to shoot over defenders and finish around the rim with authority. He was also a monster in the post as well. Rocket fans will never forget when McGrady scored 13 points in 35 seconds to beat the San Antonio Spurs in a comeback win. He was also a part of the Rockets 22-game win streak. McGrady is a seven time all-star, seven time All-NBA, and a two time scoring champ. In his Rocket tenured he averaged 20.5 ppg and had 18, 381 career points. McGrady entered the Hall of Fame in 2017. He went by the nick name "T-Mac".

Tracy McGrady 13 Points Vs The Spurs In 33 Seconds HD youtu.be

In honest opinion, McGrady fell short in his career because of injuries. McGrady could never lead his team out the first round of the playoffs. If Mcgrady stayed healthy, he probably would have been in the conversation with Kobe Bryant.

James Harden's career is still ongoing but is constantly breaking NBA records. Harden brings the whole package because of his scoring ability. He has exceeded his range from behind the three point line. Harden drives defenders crazy because of his ability to get to the line. NBA refs have struggled refereeing him in the regular season and post season. Harden is already being talked about as one of the best scorers of all time. Last season, Harden averaged 36 ppg and now 37.9 ppg for this season. People are waiting to see if he will pass Chamberlin for the most points in a game this season. Harden is already a seven time all-star, made NBA First Team five times, NBA Third Team, won Sixth Man of the Year with the Oklahoma City Thunder, two time scoring champ, won two gold medals and won an MVP. He just had a streak of scoring 50 points in six straight games. Harden has been incredible for the last eight seasons in Houston.

James Harden BEST Highlights & Moments from 2018-19 NBA Season! BEAST Mode! (Part 1) youtu.be

Everyone will always question Harden in the playoffs. Even though he improved last year in the playoffs, a championship ring haunts him. Is Harden more concerned with winning another MVP or Championship? Harden has struggled with making his teammates better and keeping his composer on the court.

In reality, it is not too hard to see who the best guard in Rocket history.

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College football needs to call a timeout on the 2020 season.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 are set to announce, maybe today, perhaps in a few weeks, whether they will play football this fall.

Already the Ivy League, Mountain West and Mid-American Conference have canceled their fall football season for health and safety reasons amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Power 5 conferences – the Big Ten, Pac-12, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 and Southeastern Conference – should get onboard and put their football seasons on hold, too.

While some elected officials without medical degrees say that coronavirus amounts to little more than sniffles for young people, healthcare experts argue that college-age people, while they do recover quickly and may not exhibit symptoms, do contract and spread the virus.

There has been a 90 percent increase of young people testing positive for the virus in the past four weeks. More important, health experts say they can't measure the long-term effects of the virus, which may include brain damage, heart disease and reduced lung capacity.

There is a simple solution to play or not play college football this fall – postpone the season to next spring, when health experts will know more about the disease. There possibly could be a vaccine by then, which would allow fans back in stadiums.

Many high-profile college players and coaches weighed in on the debate Monday, almost unanimously saying that the 2020 football schedule should be played on schedule, starting in a few weeks.

Players, including Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, adopted the hashtag #WeWantToPlay. In a tweet, Lawrence said that players would be more at risk for coronavirus if the fall season doesn't move forward. "We are more likely to get the virus in everyday life than playing football."

Lawrence added that, if the football season is canceled or postponed, players "will be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely."

Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN, "Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home."

Two points: University presidents should listen to only one group of people – healthcare professionals – when they decide whether to cancel or postpone the fall football season. Yes, players want to play during this pandemic. But players also want to play when they are injured or their brain was just scrambled by a vicious tackle. We applaud athletes who play with a broken leg. We see players with concussions plead with their coaches to put them back in the game.

As for the argument that players are more likely to catch the virus if they're sent home – who's sending them home? These are student-athletes. Students. Most college campuses will be open with students attending classes this fall. Major college programs like Clemson have 85 full scholarships designated for football. Colleges won't take away players' scholarships if the football season is canceled. Clemson's campus will open Sept. 21 for in-person classes.

ESPN college football analyst Greg McElroy also said the season should be played as scheduled: "If they're (players) OK, then I'm OK." Texas governor Greg Abbott chimed in on the players' side. He said, "It's their careers, it's their health."

What "careers" is he talking about? There are about 775 colleges that play football. Only 1.7 percent of all those players will play in the NFL or another professional league. On Sept. 3, Rice University will play Army. It is unlikely that any of those players will have a career in football. However, given the excellence of academics at those colleges, players will have career opportunities in something other than football. The average NFL career is 2-1/2 years. Rice and Army grads can top that.

The NBA is completing its season in a bubble in Orlando, with players confined to their hotels between games. Only 22 teams are in Orlando for the lockdown. The Rockets organization sent about 35 people, including coaches, players and essential personnel to Orlando.

Baseball is playing its season outside a bubble. So many players are testing positive for coronavirus that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred last week threatened to end the season if teams don't do a better job of enforcing the league's health protocol. What's left is an unbalanced season. For example, the Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners have played 18 games, while the St. Louis Cardinals have played only five games. The ironically first-place Miami Marlins, which had 18 players test positive, have played only 10 games.

College football can't be played in a bubble. There are too many teams, with some having more than 100 players and 20 coaches. And no sport thrives on fans' excitement and marching bands like college football. Several colleges, including the University of Texas and Texas A&M, have stadiums that hold more than 100,000 fans. Even if college football could be played in a bubble, it would require isolating players from August to January, when they're supposed to be in class. I know … supposed.

This one is easy. For the health and safety of players, play the fall 2020 season in spring 2021.

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