Contrary to reports, Jeanie Buss says the money from the Time Warner deal is set, guaranteed regardless of ratings. The stakes, and consequences, however, are still high. “The team is obviously not doing as well this year — injuries and whatnot. Knock on wood, so far the effect [on business] hasn’t been horrible,” says Lakers COO/senior VP of business operations Tim Harris. “You look at the key indicators: OK, how are the ratings? The ratings are a little down.12 They are down relative to the Lakers, but they are still strong relative to an NBA team. Sponsorship interest is up. That’s good. The big indicator is tickets, and so far we are holding our own. Yeah, there are some soft nights every now and again, but by and large the interest is maintained. Now, if the team stays exactly where they are now, and you and I are having this conversation in another year, am I gonna say the same thing? I don’t know.”
February 12, 2016 | 8:56 pm EST Update
Spencer Percy: Concerning Dwight Howard-#Hornets rumor, @QCHblog source tells me: “the team is definitely serious about Dwight.” Hornets would have to part ways with a future 1st-round pick to land DH, and as hellbent as MJ is on the playoffs, it’s questionable at best.
Spencer Percy: QCH Source: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist definitely having surgery after tearing his right labrum. He’s done for the year. Surgery date not set. There is too much risk involved w/ MKG not electing for surgery, so the decision everyone expected has been made. What a shame. There’s no doubt that MKG’s injury-prone nature is concerning, but we can’t forget that he’s only 22 years old.
February 12, 2016 | 7:55 pm EST Update
Yet 12 seasons in, the 30-year-old who has been ravaged by injuries in recent years raises too many red flags for many teams (the New York Knicks, for what it’s worth, are believed to be one of those). And while it was just weeks ago that the Rockets were believed to be boldly pursuing a James Harden, Howard, and Durant trio this summer that would certainly be worthy of title contention, the confluence of factors has clearly reached a point where Houston general manager Daryl Morey isn’t as enthusiastic about that.
All of which leaves the Rockets in quite the pinch, one that didn’t seem to be bothering Harden as he enjoyed his fourth visit to the All-Star stage. “It’s out of my control, so I just focus on what I can control,” Harden said when asked about the reports on Howard’s future. “This weekend I’m having a good time, so I’m not really worried about that.”