As long as James Dolan owns the Knicks, being the worst owner in the NBA is a tough hill to climb. “Hold my beer,” says Tilman Fertitta. From the moment he entered the league, Fertita is doing all he can to take Dolan's title, and yesterday he accidentally proved his critics right.
This is a tweet from Bobby Marks explaining how much extra luxury tax the Warriors will pay for bringing in Kelly Oubre and his $14.4 million. That's right - $68 million in taxes. After Klay's devastating injury, Oubre doesn't make them a title favorite - maybe they are in the top 4 in the West. But this is what a good owner with a perennial superstar on the team does.
We already explained how Fertita barely scraped enough funds to buy the Rockets for $2 billion in the first place. Given the fact he purchased the only team that decided to try and compete with the Warriors, questions about his willingness to pay the luxury tax immediately appeared. Fertita repeatedly said he understands the Rockets' opportunity and that the luxury tax is not an issue. The problem for Fertitta is actions speak louder than words.
Every trade deadline, the Rockets made moves to shed some salary and make sure they are under the luxury tax. But Fertitta didn't only save on the luxury tax. Coaches' salaries don't count against the cap, but he allowed D'Antoni to become a lame-duck coach, practically ensuring he leaves. Westbrook and Harden both want out partly because Morey and D'Antoni are not there anymore. Both left because Tilman Fertitta is cheap.
I'm not too fond of the trade requests and think player empowerment is becoming a problem. But we need to keep our focus on the big picture - if anyone deserves blame for the Rockets' demise, it is Tilman "Shut up and listen" Fertitta.