Chris Bosh has long been the Rockets' dream summer acquisition, and they went to a ton of trouble to be ready to impress him as the clock turned midnight.
In preparation they had fired up three Toyota Tundras full of fans, and Jason Friedman, intrepid team blogger, had them drive to Florida. Their best intelligence was that Bosh would be there on the big night. Morey would catch a plane to join them at the last minute, then he'd kind of be the grand marshal of a fan parade that would engulf Bosh in a tidal wave of free-agent love.
That was the idea. So over the last few days, the Toyotas trundled across the country, from Houston to Miami. They managed to get there in time for the big meeting.
Only ... at the last minute, Morey discovered that Bosh was in fact -- surprise! -- in Dallas.
The fan caravan was out of the mix.
Morey, however, was very much in. He managed to finagle the meeting with Bosh. Afterward, Morey called Friedman (who was presumably enjoying his unbelievably decorative South Beach hotel room) to report on the meeting with Bosh:
Using a personalized Chris Bosh iPad as part of his presentation, Morey showed the 6-10 Texas-native video testimonials from the likes of Yao Ming, Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Elvin Hayes. He also focused on the Rockets’ incredible depth and tremendous supporting cast -- perhaps the two key components of Houston’s pitch which sets it apart from the rest of the teams playing the free agent field.
In talking to Morey after the fact, it was clear he felt positively about both the meeting and the Rockets’ chances going forward. You can’t ask for a much better start to the free agent frenzy than that.
The fancy iPad was hardly Morey's only high-tech trick. He also brought some of the fancypants hoops analysis he's famous for. Chad Ford has more details about Morey's pitch, including Morey's analysis whereby with Yao and Bosh, the Rockets could be a 60-win team, whereas a few superstars and some minimum contracts would only get Bosh 45 wins or so.
To land Bosh, the Rockets would first need Bosh to fall in love with the idea, and then they'd have to get the Raptors to agree to a sign-and-trade. There's plenty of work to be done, but it sounds like the first meeting ended on target, even if the first fan free-agent caravan missed by about 1,300 miles.