Rockets practice report: Teammates welcome Asik back
By all accounts it was business as usual for the Houston Rockets at their Monday practice in advance of their game with the Boston Celtics in Houston on Tuesday night. The only thing unusual about that is things were not that way for the last couple of days for the team.
Rockets center Omer Asik returned to practice for the first time since he reportedly demanded a trade and was deemed unavailable for Saturday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets.
His teammates and coach seemed pleased about his presence and were ready to put it behind them.
“I’m happy. We can use him,” Chandler Parsons said. “Obviously, he’s been a big part of his team. I understand his frustration. It’s got to be difficult, he wants to play.
“But he’s here, he’s on the Rockets” Parsons said. “So he should be practicing with us, he should be playing with us trying to help us win games.”
Parsons said Asik seemed like the same guy he’s always been since joining the Rockets prior to last season.
“He seemed great, he had a good practice,” Parsons added. “I’m not just his teammate, I’m his friend. At the end of the day, (he needs to) be a professional come to work every day and handle your business.
“He’s not a bad dude at all. He’s an unbelievable person,” Parsons said. “I’m never seen him cop an attitude or be disrespectful in anyway. But I’ve also never been in that situation.”
Clearly the reason Asik is frustrated is due the acquisition of Dwight Howard, who, as expected, has become the Rockets new starting center.
“(I’m) glad he’s back out there,” Howard said. “We’re trying to accomplish something great here and everybody has to be all-in. There’s going to be some adversity but we have to stick together.
Howard said he and the team are looking ahead regarding the situation, rather than focusing on what transpired.
“That’s behind us, he apologized for it,” Howard said. “We have to move on, we can’t dwell on it. We can’t make it an issue. We all have to be understanding, empathize with him and keep moving forward.”