Houston Sports

Far left, Houston Texans, top right Houston Rockets, and bottom left, Houston Astros.


Far left, Houston Texans, top right Houston Rockets, and bottom left, Houston Astros.

A few years ago, Houston was one of the top sports cities in the country. For example, in 2017 the Houston Astros won the World Series, the Houston Texans won their division and made it to the AFC divisional round, and the Houston Rockets won the Western Conference and were one game away from the NBA finals. Houston had huge superstars like James Harden, JJ Watt, Jose Altuve, Deandre Hopkins, and Chris Paul. It looked like these teams were built for long-term success but it would all come crashing down.

Let’s start with the Houston Astros. They were a stacked team that made deep playoff runs year in and year out. They had some young stars in Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer. They had the best pitching duo in the MLB. Then the unthinkable happened: a former player accused the Astros of cheating during the playoffs. He claimed that the managers used cameras and microphones to tell their batters what type of pitch the pitcher was going to throw. It didn’t seem unlikely since Houston’s hitters always seemed to get huge hits in the big games. The MLB investigated the issue and confirmed that the Astros had cheated. As a result, the Astros were fined five million dollars and lost their first and second round draft picks for the 2020 and 2021 MLB draft. Additionally, the manager and GM were fired and their top player George Springer left. The Astros are now easily the most hated team in the MLB and many don’t count their World Series win. Their players have gotten death threats and are booed just about every game. The Astros went from first to worst in a very short period of time.

Next let’s look at the Houston Rockets. The Houston Rockets were a top five team in the NBA from 2015 to 2020. They were always towards the top of the standings and had the best scorer in the NBA in James Harden. The Rockets also had Chris Paul who is arguably the best point guard of the past decade. So what happened that caused the Rockets to go downhill? After the 2019 season, the Houston Rockets traded Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook. Westbrook was younger, a top point guard, and James Harden’s best friend. It seemed like the perfect plan. Fast forward to the end of the 2020 season and you found a team that was plagued by in-fighting and dysfunction. The Rockets made it to the playoffs and advanced to the second round, but were destroyed by the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers. Following the playoffs, Russell Westbrook demanded a trade and was sent to the Wizards for John Wall. Then James Harden demanded to be traded. Training camp started, and Harden was nowhere to be found. After two weeks, Harden showed up, but was incredibly overweight and had not followed NBA Covid protocols. He was extremely rude to teammates and coaches. On January 14, the Rockets traded Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. In the span of two years, the Rockets lost three superstars in James Harden, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook. They are currently sitting at 14 out of 15 teams in the Western Conference and have a weak foundation to start building from.

Finally, let’s talk about the Houston Texans. Before the start of the 2020-2021 NFL season, the Houston Texans were looking like a Super Bowl contender. They had just barely lost in the playoffs to the eventual champion Kansas City Chiefs and most of the players from the team would be returning. Then one of the craziest moments of the 2020 offseason happened: the Houston Texans traded Deandre Hopkins, the best wide receiver in the NFL, for an injured running back and a second round draft pick. The trade was declared arguably the worst trade in NFL history. As a result, the Texans fired their head coach Bill O’ Brien because he signed off on the trade. The Texans struggled during the 2020-21 season and didn’t make the playoffs, finishing 4-12. There were rumors of fights and turmoil in the locker room and front office. As the 2021 offseason began, Deshaun Watson, the Texans quarterback, demanded to be traded. He didn’t talk to anyone, not even the brand new head coach. To make matters worse, the face of the franchise and team leader, JJ Watt demanded to leave the team. Currently, Watt has been released and Watson is still trying to be traded. The Texans are in an extremely bad situation and the team is the laughing stock of the league. It is very unfortunate to see a team with such promise and hope fall apart so fast.

As you can see, the professional teams of Houston have had some very rough years. The fans of these teams are going to be frustrated by some lackluster seasons. Players and fans across the league have made fun of Houston sports and few good players are going to want to play for the Astros, Rockets, or Texans. This will make it incredibly hard for these teams to get back to the top of their leagues. Hopefully, Houston can get some luck and break this curse.