There seemed to be no way Rockets owner Leslie Alexander could know how his team would play, given that at the time, he had almost no idea who would be on the team.
But Alexander was determined and in a position to expect to get his way. Last season had barely ended when he said the Rockets of this season would run. He could not name them, but he was certain that whoever wore his uniforms and received paychecks with his name on them would play faster than his teams ever had.
Reminded that he had made such proclamations for years, Alexander made it clear this time the topic was not up for discussion.
“Oh, we will run,” he said with a tone that sounded much more like an edict from the corner office than a prediction.
Through 26 games and nearly as many roster moves, the Rockets run more than any team in the NBA, winning more often than Alexander expected when they do and standing little chance when they do not. They did not shape the roster to fit the owner’s wishes, choosing to go with the NBA’s youngest team for other reasons, but that has made it even more imperative that they do what the boss wanted.
“I definitely wanted this team to run,” Alexander said. “I think running is the future of this league. I’ve thought so for many years. When we hired Kevin (McHale in June 2011), he was on board, and I knew he was ready to do it. I don’t think personnel matters. I think anybody can run if they buy into it, and this team has bought into it.”
– Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle