News » Houston Rockets Notes, Quotes 2009-07-14

Houston Rockets Notes, Quotes 2009-07-14

Houston Rockets Notes, Quotes 2009-07-14
--From the moment the CT scan results showed that the crack in his left heel had not healed, Yao Ming was determined to move deliberately. He would meet with specialists around the country and carefully consider everything from putting the foot back in a cast in the hopes that this time it will heal to experimental surgeries that could realign bones and move veins to increase blood flow.

Yao had been hesitant to announce a direction, even as it became increasingly apparent that he was headed for season-ending surgery, likely using plates to strengthen the bone and some realignment to remove the stress that has twice cracked it.

Yet while his representatives insisted that Yao has not made a decision even to have a surgery, the Rockets were granted a disabled-player exception to replace him, indicating that the NBA agreed with the Rockets' apparent contention that Yao will miss all of next season.

"The Rockets have kept me informed of what they are doing and why," Yao said. "I support them in their efforts to make our team as good as possible. My focus is on selecting the best treatment option for my injured foot and committing myself to do what I can to ensure a complete recovery. I am optimistic about the future, and I will return to playing basketball when my foot has fully healed."

He was careful to not say how he will do that, but it has become evident.

--The Rockets kept their mid-level exception by signing Trevor Ariza to a disabled player exception they received because of Yao Ming's injury. They just are not sure what they will do with it.

They do have a gaping hole in the middle, with Yao out and Dikembe Mutombo retired. That leaves Joey Dorsey and forwards Chuck Hayes, Luis Scola and Carl Landry to take turns at center. Newly signed Trevor Ariza is a versatile player, but he likely did not sign on expecting to jump center.

The Rockets, however, do not view the remaining free agent centers as worth mid-level money and are cautious about overpaying. When their initial free agent target, Marcin Gortat, received a mid-level offer, the Rockets refused to bump up their offer to him.

Instead, they will likely spend a small portion of the mid-level to find a backup center, with GM Daryl Morey saying he intends to find a starter through a trade.

"We're not done," he said. "We're hoping to do more. We're going to be careful and not do anything just to do it, just to plug a hole and make it look like we're plugging it. We're only going to make a move when we feel like it upgrades the team."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I got approached by some really, really good teams. I felt like I can help this team a lot more and help myself also by being here."

-- F Trevor Ariza

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: July 14, 2009


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