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Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta on team’s title window: ‘This is the time’

With a roster full of well-compensated veterans, Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta knows that his team’s time to capitalize and win a championship is now. He also knows if they’re not able to win in the short-term, their long-term outlook could be compromised due to moves made to maximize their present chances. 

“I think we put ourselves in the position that if we don’t win it in the next three or four years, we probably aren’t going to win one in the next 10 years,” Fertitta said, via Yahoo Sports. “This is our window, and we need to seize the opportunity… This is the time. I just re-signed Eric Gordon who is 30 and I’ve got Russell [Westbrook] and James [Harden] and Eric and Clint Capela for the next four years. P.J. [Tucker] is 34 and our two stars are 30. So this is their window. Let’s seize the opportunity.”

Houston’s major offseason move was acquiring former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and while some have wondered how well Westbrook will fit with Harden as two ball-dominant guards, Fertitta isn’t concerned about a lack of chemistry between his two stars. 

“It’s so important to have the right chemistry,” Fertitta told. “These are two guys that grew up in L.A. together and have known each other most of their lives. And they can talk to each other. You can say things to each other and the other would not get offended because you’re lifelong buddies. And so I think the chemistry’s going to be great this year.” 

With all the moves made over the offseason, the league is as open as it has been in recent memory, and Fertitta thinks that ultimately health could determine a champion this season. 

“I can honestly tell you this: Now we’re hunting the Clippers, the Lakers, the Jazz, the Trail Blazers, the Nuggets and the Warriors,” Fertitta said. “It’s going to be exciting. Let’s be honest, it’s really going to be who doesn’t have the injuries and who’s healthy. And you know, it’s going to be good. I think that we realize we’ve got to have a team that’s pretty deep in all areas because you’re going to have to beat — there’s no telling who you’re going to have to play. There’s no telling who you’re going to have to play from the East. Are you going to be playing Toronto again or Boston or Philly or, you know, Brooklyn? Who knows?”  

The Rockets have been close in recent years; the defending champion Golden State Warriors took them out in the Western Conference semifinals in six games this past season, and in Game 7 of the conference finals the year before. Houston was so close, in fact, that had Chris Paul been healthy for the final games of that Western Conference finals series in 2018, the Rockets’ title drought may have already ended. However, close isn’t good enough in the NBA, and title windows don’t remain open indefinitely. So, the Rockets have to capitalize in the next couple of seasons, or they could be looking at a bleak future with little to show for it. 

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