Back in Houston, Ariza Happily Finds Role That Right for Him, Rockets

October 10th, 2014 by Jonathan Feigen Leave a reply »
Jonathan Feigen


HOUSTON -- From the moment Trevor Ariza first joined the Rockets and in some ways even in the months before he signed on that day in July, 2009, he was filling in for someone else. He had been fated to that no-win situation in the Rockets’ era of injuries, but that was what he wanted. It did not go well.

Months after the Rockets had finally escaped the playoffs’ first round and the Lakers team that eliminated them had rolled all the way to the 2008-09 championship, Ron Artest had jumped ship to Los Angeles, leaving a void for Ariza to fill in Houston.

It did not end there. Ariza was signed to the disabled player exception made available by the season-ending injury to Yao Ming. And when the season began, Tracy McGrady was still working his way back from microfracture surgery and on his way to playing just six more games with the Rockets.


For Ariza, that all offered an opportunity to expand his game beyond his role-player duties next to Kobe Bryant with the Lakers. He wanted that chance and pushed the limits of his game, hoping to become the star he could not be ...

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