No. 51: Houston Rockets

Ultimate Standings 2012

Updated: September 6, 2012, 5:53 PM ET
By Ross Marrinson | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 37
Title track: 54
Ownership: 61
Coaching: 82
Players: 54
Fan relations: 58
Affordability: 61
Stadium experience: 65
Bang for the buck: 53

Well, the best-laid plans ... often go awry? After acquiring and trading nearly every player in the NBA over the offseason, the Houston Rockets missed out on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes and are stuck with a 21-man roster that includes just two players who started more games than not last season. And one of them is 64-game veteran Jeremy Lin. This with coach Kevin McHale who, prior to joining the Rockets, had a career winning percentage of .410 and not much of a reputation as a talent evaluator. The Rockets let go of fan favorite Luis Scola, traded Samuel Dalembert, Kyle Lowry and Courtney Lee, then overpaid to acquire Omer Asik and Lin, who said he'd have rather stayed in New York. It's not going well in Houston, and the fans responded, as the Rockets fell in every category, even though their fans pay just $41 per game to watch their team, 15 percent less than the NBA average. Perhaps the fans are simply angry over the $6 hot dogs at the Toyota Center concession stands. Yeah, that's got to be it.