When Bill Simmons said the Rockets are “the most despised team in the NBA.“, you assumed he was talking about the sentiment the media or other front offices around the league have towards the team in Houston. But, players aren’t fond of them as well, as explained like Carmelo Anthony.
Here’s how it works. There are superstar players who wield a lot of power in the NBA. So you do what you can to treat them and their people with the utmost professionalism. LeBron, for instance, is an opinion maker within players’ circles. People look up to him. So, if you want him to sign with your team, maybe you help his friend and agent Rich Paul by signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for $17.7 million in ’17/’18, $12 million in ’18/’19 and then give him a two year contract with the second year being a player option at $16.5 million.
As with any other industry, there are internal politics. Players talk, agents talk, and your reputation is essential within the community. So, when you manage to piss off two of the four banana boat guys, you will have a reputation issue. After loosing to CP3’s Thunder on Sunday, Carmelo Anthony shared the warning he gave Paul about the Rockets. (via ESPN):
“When my situation happened in Houston, he was the first person that I called to come to my room. And we had to clear some things up, and I wanted to know if he had anything to do with it. And that was the first thing that I wanted to know, and he told me, ‘No.‘ And from that point on, I told him, looked him in his eyes and said, ‘Look, just be careful.‘ You know what I mean? Just be careful. And damn sure if [the same situation] didn’t happen to him.”
Paul recently said that he had a similar situation to Anthony’s. He asked Daryl Morey will he get traded to Oklahoma City, and according to Paul, Morey told him he’s not getting traded. A few days later, he was traded for Russell Westbrook. But, when asked about Rocket’s reputation within players circles, especially taking into mind that we’re talking about Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul feeling like they didn’t get the proper treatment, Carmelo wasn’t that direct (via ESPN):
“Well, nobody has an answer, right?” he said. “My situation and Chris’ situation is totally different, but nobody has an answer. Like, nobody really has an answer for my situation. Still. The only people that know
We’ve heard Anthony Davis’ father say his son doesn’t want to play for Boston after what they did to Isaiah Thomas. Superstars notice and remember these things, and with player empowerment this will have to become a bigger consideration when making moves in the NBA.