Tad Brown Rumors
Most NBA teams function like monarchies, with all the palace intrigue of The Crown. Various figures jostle and backstab in the hunt for the billionaire’s attention. By the end of the process, to many Rockets’ staffers, it became clear that Brown and Stone had entered Fertitta’s good graces, which is no small thing.
Much has happened to erode employees’ trust in the organization, including signs of belt-tightening. Fertitta earned a certain reputation with the staff years ago when he made them stay in his casino hotel in old Vegas for summer league, while most teams—and a few select executives like Stone and Brown—stayed in high-end hotels on the strip.
There had been nearly two decades of changes and challenges, of successes and struggles. No season, however, had been quite like, or as difficult as last season. For Tad Brown, entering his 20th season with the Rockets and 15th as CEO, there was no question about what season had been the toughest. As with most of what 2020 has touched, he did not have to search his memories to pick the most difficult, leaving him happy to move on to a new season certain to bring challenges like no other.
“It without question was the most challenging professionally as well as personally for all the reasons everybody else is going through,” Brown said. “It’s been challenging, also very rewarding to see how everybody has responded; the staff, ownership, the players. Getting through last season was a remarkable achievement for the NBA and our organization.”
All that came while the NBA has put together protocols to try to hold a season among a nation-wide surge of COVID-19 cases and as Brown prepares for a wide variety of options to potentially have fans in Toyota Center in less than a month. Even that comes with the knowledge that all the planning the NBA, teams and local health and governmental officials attempt can be subject to the virus’ ability to change everything. “It’s going to be a challenge but one we’re looking forward to,” Brown said. “It’s very important that we continue to build proper infrastructure, especially to make sure that we’re following all safety protocols as directed nationally, as directed from the league, as directed from our local health professionals and city leaders and county leaders.”
Fans will not attend preseason games at Toyota Center Dec. 15 and 17. Brown said it is premature to outline the protocols that will be in place for fans to attend regular season games, including how many will be allowed in Toyota Center, because they can change repeatedly in the coming weeks. But preparations for a wide variety of scenarios have been ongoing for months. “I believe it’s the right thing to do,” Brown said. “We look forward to getting going, but it’s going to be with the highest safety protocols in place. It’s changing by the day and I think it’s going to be a fluid situation throughout the year. We are planning of having fans at games. So much of this is going to be based on the information we have as we go forward.”
Jonathan Feigen: Stephen Silas thanks Tilman and Patrick Fertitta, and Tad Brown. Thanks Brown for asking “Tough questions” in the interview process. Told Rafael Stone “We’re going to be a great team together.” Cites his father Paul as “the reason I’m here.”