Phoenix Suns forward Luis Scola has bounced back after a frustrating 2011-12 campaign. Due to a minutes decrease his per-game numbers are down in his first season in Phoenix in comparison to his final year in Houston, but he appears to working a healthier and more fluid game with the Suns, and his turnovers have dipped. Still, his Suns are stuck at 11-18, while his former team in Houston is humming along with a 16-12 record after winning five straight games.
It just about goes without saying that the last thing Scola needed to see was an apparent critical letter sent to the Rockets following their waiving of the forward last summer, as sent out on Twitter by Rockets GM Daryl Morey on Dec. 24th. In it, a Rockets fan thanks Morey for using the amnesty clause on Scola, submitting that he was an “excellent player” for the Rockets, but one that gave Houston a “poor image” because he didn’t bother to get a “decent hair cut.”
One of the few things worth smiling about during the United States’ involvement in Afghanistan in 2001 was the revelation that one of the Taliban’s high orders was for “no Beatle haircuts.” It made me laugh, some 37 years after Beatlemania hit, that the sight of long hair on a man could send someone in a tizzy.
Well, this telegram was sent a good 43 years after John and Yoko’s Bed-In by a card-carryin’ Texan, and it’s clear that to this fan “excellent play” from a power forward is not worth a scruffy face and untamed locks. As Morey noted in his initial tweet, it would be interesting to hear what the author feels about James Harden, he of the massive beard, currently carrying one of the league’s most entertaining and surprising team to a possible playoff berth.
It should be noted that Morey adored the work of Scola, as most of us do, and genuinely hated cutting his former big forward. Like Chauncey Billups’ dismissal from the New York Knicks in 2011, Scola wasn’t waived for poor play or for a contract he wasn’t worth; rather, the forward was moved to clear cap space as Morey attempted to trade for former Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard. That move didn’t work out, but a chunk of the cap space Scola left as he packed his bags was used to make a massive contract extension for James Harden workable for the team’s 2013 attempts at signing a big free agent.
Morey likely doesn’t regret the move, but that doesn’t mean he enjoyed waiving Luis Scola, certainly still an “excellent player.” We kind of hope the author of this letter regrets his or her actions, and with Harden leading the way, enjoys these runnin’ Rockets.
If not, we shudder to think of what the author would feel about Mike Newlin:
Or Robin Jones: