Toyota Center's $4M In Upgrades Could Help Rockets Attract NBA Free Agents
Nearly the entire east side of the Toyota Center service level "has been gutted," the first step in a $4M project to "rebuild the team’s training center," according to Jonathan Feigen of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Rockets CEO Tad Brown said that the timing was "influenced by free agency, with the organization determined to begin the project in time to present as part of the pitch in free agency and to be completed by the start of next season’s camp." Brown said, "It’s making sure we’re creating the best basketball facility we possibly can for the players and the people who are working on the basketball operations and team staffs. ... We wanted to create a basketball operations complex where everybody is together and it’s very free-flowing. ... It’s one location. It’s all on one side of the building." Feigen noted recruiting "might not have been the motivation, but players have been known to talk about the top training facilities around the NBA." Rockets Senior VP/Basketball Operations & Head Athletic Trainer Keith Jones said, "I think it helps a lot. Some guys are into the wow factor. And NBA guys talk and tell you how good they have it or how their teams take care of them. I think it’s an advantage to have a state-of-the-art facility. I think it’s a great recruiting tool and it’s really important. Everything evolves. Sports medicine has evolved. Strength training and performance has evolved. We’re able to catch up and move ahead" (CHRON.com, 6/28).
YEAR TWO DRAW: In N.Y., Harvey Araton wrote the Nets "needed more star power" in order to build on Barclays Center's "first-year drawing power." With the acquisition of Fs Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from the "deconstructing Celtics, the Nets became the talk, if not the toast, of Planet NBA." Along with "stealing the Knicks' thunder," the Nets "corralled two mainstays of the Knicks' most compelling rival" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/29).