Rockets Lead

Comparing the Rockets to Characters from ‘The Office’

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With nearly two months of no NBA basketball, the only game that fans can watch right now is this iconic matchup:

 

Why not take The Office’s connection with basketball a step further?

Starting with owner Tilman Fertitta and going all the way down to the 15th man, we will compare each member of the Houston Rockets to a character from the fan-favorite workplace comedy.

Tilman Fertitta: Toby Flenderson

No one wants him there, but he’s unfortunately the man in charge of all the hiring and firing. Perhaps he’s just misunderstood. Or perhaps he’s the Scranton Strangler.

 

Ever since the China controversy, Fertitta has been in direct opposition to one man. That man is…

Daryl Morey: Michael Scott

Morey and Scott are the people who make their respective “teams” go. They can both be a little bit of a loose cannon from time to time (at least according to Tilman), but ultimately we love them and couldn’t be more thankful for their contributions.

And this season, Morey has taken his intrigue for small-ball to a whole new level. His promises of winning a championship with the “Pocket Rockets” seem reminiscent of Michael Scott’s promises of a great future for his “Scott’s Tots”. Hopefully Morey’s team can get something better than a laptop battery out of it, though.

And, if Season 9 of The Office is any indication, hopefully Fertitta will understand that firing Morey would only make things worse.

Mike D’Antoni: Jan Levinson

Like Michael and Jan, Morey and D’Antoni enable each other. They have similar values, but never really know where to stop.

Put in positions of power, D’Antoni and Jan both like to do things their way, not bothering to get caught up in long-term ramifications. If D’Antoni wants to play Harden 45 minutes on the front end of a back-to-back vs. the Suns? You can bet he’ll do it. And if Jan wants Michael to sleep on a small chest at the food of their bed? You can bet she’ll get her way.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook: Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly

Harden and Westbrook have a history almost as long as Jim and Pam.

Jim and Pam were friends since they started working at Dunder Mifflin, but were unable to be together because of Pam’s then-boyfriend Roy. After so many years of waiting, though, the two finally made things official in Season 4. As for Harden and Westbrook, the two started their careers off strong in OKC, but were then forced to spend seven years apart. Thankfully, the duo got to reunite in Houston this year.

Jim and Pam still had their issues, but fans could always trust that they’d find a way to work it out. While Harden and Westbrook aren’t a perfect match, their strong chemistry gives them an advantage over almost every other team in the league.

Just like Jim and Pam’s relationship brought an end to the Jim-Karen pairing, Westbrook’s arrival ended Harden’s partnership with Chris Paul and, eventually, Clint Capela. Jim and Pam got a wedding out of it. Let’s hope the Rockets can get a championship out of it.

Eric Gordon: Andy Bernard

Both Eric Gordon and Andy Bernard are high-volume shooters, but that isn’t always a good thing.

Gordon is often times the x-factor that lifts the Rockets to victory. His hot shooting has rescued the team on many occasions. Unfortunately, though, he can be inconsistent, and his off shooting nights usually lead directly to a loss. Similarly, Andy can turn a good episode into a great one when he’s on. But, he can also ruin an episode when he just gets too out of control.

PJ Tucker: Dwight Schrute

Standing at 6’5″, PJ Tucker is one of the most unique “centers” the NBA has ever seen.

A beet farmer and karate master on the side, Dwight Schrute is one of the most unique “Assistant to the Regional Managers” that Dunder Mifflin has ever known.

But it’s hard to deny the greatness of either one of them. Since taking over at center, Tucker has been a stalwart defensively, wreaking havoc against much taller opponents. His activeness on the boards has allowed the Rockets to remain competitive despite their size. As for Schrute, his sales tactics are often illogical (hanging up the phone right when the client says hello comes to mind), but his success rate at Dunder Mifflin is unparalleled. And even though he intentionally set a building on fire, his toughness in the face of adversity got his co-workers to start thinking more about office safety.

While Tucker doesn’t have a collection of beets, I’m sure that his own insane shoe collection would give him and Dwight something to talk about.

Robert Covington: Erin Hannon

When Erin was introduced in late Season 5, she injected a fresh new energy into Dunder Mifflin. She was the perfect fit, quickly establishing herself as one of the more likable characters on the show.

For the Rockets, at the trade deadline this year, they acquired the services of perimeter player Robert Covington. From the start, Covington thrived as a Rocket, and was just what the team needed to kick them into a higher gear.

And just as Covington’s arrival allowed PJ Tucker to shift to center, Erin’s arrival allowed Pam to shift from her role as receptionist to a new-and-improved sales job.

Ben McLemore: Kevin Malone

For nine seasons of The Office, the extent of Kevin’s character consisted of either dumb or fat jokes. It was one note, but actor Brian Baumgartner played the part so well that Kevin quickly turned into one of the best characters on the show.

For the Rockets, the only thing that McLemore does is shoot threes. But, he leads the team in three-point percentage at 39.5%, and his hot shooting can often be just the spark the Rockets need. Even though he really only does one thing, he does it so well that it’s been more than enough to turn him into one of the most important players on the team.

Danuel House: Darryl Philbin

Darryl was a steady contributor in the warehouse for most of the show’s run. In season 6, though, he was promoted to work upstairs with the rest of the office. Recognized for his hard work and charm, Darryl carved out a nice role for himself in this spot.

Danuel House started off in the G-League. In 2018, though, he was snatched up by the Rockets and quickly became an important factor for the team. This season, though, House has been inconsistent. His field goal and three point percentages are down, and his grasp on a starting spot is starting to slip. Darryl, upon his promotion, loosened up his work ethic. He was still well-liked, but probably spent more time singing than he did actually working.

Jeff Green: Phyllis Vance

Many times throughout the show, Michael describes Phyllis as “like a grandmother”, forgetting that they actually graduated in the same high school class.

It’s shocking that Jeff Green is still in the NBA. It’s even more shocking that he’s only 33 years old, just two years older than Russell Westbrook. Green has been through a ton in his NBA career, but it’s only made him stronger. Even though it seems like he has nothing left in the tank, he’s been an awesome surprise for the Rockets this year – just like Phyllis is a constant source of energy on the sales team and, more importantly, the Party Planning Committee.

DeMarre Carroll: Ryan Howard

Ryan had quite an up-and-down journey during his time on The Office. First he was a temp, then he was promoted to a job at corporate, then he was arrested for fraud, then he worked at the Michael Scott Paper Company, and, finally, he went back to working at Dunder Mifflin.

DeMarre Carroll has been everywhere during his NBA career. He’s appeared on a total of eight NBA teams, operating as a bench warmer, role player, starter, and everything in between. He’s had some success, but, like Ryan, he hasn’t really stuck anywhere for too long.

As long as he doesn’t invest all his effort into WUPHF.com, though, I have faith that Carroll will be able to be a steady contributor in Houston for years to come.

Austin Rivers: Kelly Kapoor

Austin Rivers is at his best when he’s playing fearless. For a lot of players, this leads to recklessness. For Austin, though, it gives him a much greater ability to impact the game. He’s a decent shooter, but is much better when he puts his head down and attacks the rim. On defense, he has the ability to be a pest against even the best opposing guards in the league.

Similarly, Kelly is really only able to get Ryan’s attention when she goes to the extremes and acts fearlessly. Constantly spreading gossip and faking pregnancy are just the tip of the iceberg of the extreme lengths that Kelly is willing to go to get what she wants. She can be a bit of a train wreck sometimes, but her ferocity is what brings her the most success and makes her a fan-favorite.

Alternatively…Michael Scott’s Nephew, who appeared in one episode – hired as an intern solely due to nepotism.

Thabo Sefolosha: Stanley Hudson

A long-time veteran in the NBA, Sefolosha has seen his role in the league start to dwindle in recent years. Shooting just 27.8% from behind the three-point line this year, Sefolosha doesn’t really have a place in modern NBA offenses.

Stanley Hudson is an old-school salesman. He wants nothing to do with Michael’s antics, and just wants to clock in and clock out his way. Often deciding to sit in the back of the room, Stanley has no interest in trying to fit in with how the office is being run.

Tyson Chandler: Creed Bratton

Tyson is the oldest Rocket, and Creed is the oldest employee at Dunder Mifflin. We don’t really understand why either of them are there or what exactly their jobs are, but we respect the hell out of them.

Isaiah Hartenstein: DeAngelo Vickers

When Steve Carrell left the show, it was time for someone else to step up. Enter: DeAngelo Vickers. Will Ferrell’s Vickers was certainly not Michael Scott, but he was a great alternative. His “no-ball” juggling routine is a top moment, and his first introduction is classic. Unfortunately, though, his character was quickly written off after just four episodes. Fans of The Office were upset to see Michael Scott leave and probably didn’t give Vickers a fair chance. On a rewatch, it’s clear that he would’ve been a solid option for the show moving forward.

Isaiah Hartenstein has been given very limited court time for the Rockets. In that time, he’s averaged nearly 15 points and 12 rebounds per 36 minutes. Not to mention, he’s been an active defender and a high energy guy on offense. From the beginning, though, D’Antoni has refused to play him significant minutes. He has barely been able to see the court, and has spent most of the season in the G-League.

At a certain point, you gotta let him free and see what he’s got.

Bruno Caboclo: Gabe Lewis

When Bruno Caboclo was drafted, announcers claimed that he was “two years away from being two years away.” Well, that could probably be a motto for Gabe’s career trajectory on The Office.

Gabe is well-qualified and a hard worker (traveling back and forth from Tallahassee, Fl and Scranton, PA every other day during the week), but is never even looked at for a possible promotion. At this point, Caboclo may never be consistently part of an NBA rotation, just like Gabe may never be anything more than Jo’s apprentice.

And, not to mention, the comparable lanky body shapes.

Chris Clemons: Angela Martin

Clocking in at a mere 82 pounds, Angela is the smallest employee at Dunder Mufflin. Standing at just 5’9″, Chris Clemons is by far the shortest player on what is already an extremely short team.

Clemons’ best attribute is his ability to heat up from deep. And as we saw, Angela is an incredible sharp shooter herself…

Bonus!

Chris Paul: Oscar Martinez

State Farm.

Follow us on Twitter @RocketsLead for the latest Rockets news and insight.

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About Zach Zola

Zach Zola is a student at Brown University studying English. He grew up in New York, but has been a die-hard Rockets fan since the days of Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He believes that James Harden is the only King James in the NBA.

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