After waiting all summer to select his next home, Rashad McCants is headed to the Lone Star State.
Rashad accepted an offer today to join the Houston Rockets in training camp where he will vie for a spot on the Rockets roster. The Houston Chronicle and Houston’s Fox Television affiliate both confirmed the deal.
RM had reportedly garnered interest from several teams including the Miami Heat, the Denver Nuggets and the Charlotte Bobcats. He averaged 9.6 points per game last season.
Rashad was in Charlotte last week working out with the Bobcats before signing on with Houston today.
Houston’s lack of depth at the guard position was a contributing factor in their loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs last season. The Rockets return starting point guard Aaron Brooks, shooting guard Kyle Lowry and signed versatile swingman Trevor Ariza this summer, but rookies dot the roster below them, giving Rashad a solid shot to be an impact player in Houston this season.
Houston opens the preseason in San Antonio against the Spurs on Tuesday, October 6. The regular season tips off three weeks later when the Rockets travel to Portland to face the Trail Blazers on October 27.
To see the entire Houston Rockets schedule, click here.
AN IMPORTANT TALK
What may have led to Rashad’s final decision was a discussion a few weeks ago at a North Carolina Tar Heels Alumni basketball game.
Rashad sat down and spoke frankly with some other Tar Heels alums, including Vince Carter. The conversation helped the players understand Rashad better and it touched him that they cared so much, as quoted by Adam Lucas in an article about RM for the UNC official website:
“Those guys weren’t in my class and they didn’t know me before last weekend,” McCants says. “They had a perception of me, and it wasn’t a very good one. When we talked, I explained some things that maybe they didn’t know.
“I was so impressed and humbled and honored that they would do that. Them sitting down to talk to me, I felt like they appreciated my talent. I felt like they appreciated my character. Vince Carter was my basketball idol. And to have him say he likes my game and take the time to give me some advice, that means a lot.”
Rashad has found a new perspective on the game that he will now take with him to Houston.
“After four years in the NBA, what I’ve found out is that you have to go out of your way to do certain things to win over certain people,” McCants says. “You have to have the growth and maturity to know what to do to take the next step. It’s a transformation.
“If I’m given the opportunity to play in a winning situation, I’m going to change all the perceptions around. I’m going to show people who I really am. I’m ready to prove people wrong.”
2009-2010 Houston Rockets Schedule (Rockets.com)
Rockets sign former Tar Heels star McCants (Houston Chronicle, September 24, 2009)
Rockets invite McCants to camp (MyFoxHouston, September 24, 2009)
Family steps forward for McCants (North Carolina Official Athletic Site, September 10, 2009)