The Houston Rockets are in the midst of an absolutely wild offseason. Ever since they were eliminated in the Western Conference Semifinals by the Golden State Warriors, the Rockets have gone through a contract dispute with head coach Mike D’Antoni and seen report after report that indicates star guard Chris Paul wants out, even if those have been flatly denied by Paul and the franchise.
Still, there are reasons for optimism in Houston. The Western Conference might end up being wide open next season, they still have James Harden, and if they have their way in free agency, Jimmy Butler will end up on the team. If the Rockets run it back, or if they can figure out a way to make a splash this summer, it’s not crazy to think they can win a title next year.
P.J. Tucker seems to understand this, and in an interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic, he made it clear that all of this drama doesn’t mean much of anything as long as it pays off at the end of the year. After confirming that tensions were high after falling to the Warriors this year — “Everybody’s mad. Everybody’s pissed.” — Amick asked Tucker about how internal strife has brought down plenty of teams, most notably the Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal-led Lakers teams of the early-00s.
In response, the always blunt Tucker expressed his thoughts in a way that left no interpretation.
“Nah, but guess what?” Tucker asked. “They won championships together. Right? And that’s what people care about, right? That’s what we talking about, right? Nah, but we’re talking about winning championships, right? So that’s all that matters. To win a championship. That’s it. Nothing else matters. If we win a championship together and we f*cking hate each other, then guess what? Who cares? (Laughs) Nobody. Right, so that’s all that matters. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Winning a championship. Everything else is failure.”
The goal in Houston for the last few years has been going all-in on getting a ring as soon as possible. The team has fallen short, and it’s led to some tension recently, but in the event they do bring basically everyone back for 2019-20, Tucker sees the light at the end of the tunnel, even if the road to get there is a bit bumpy.