by Jayme Lamm
THEY SAY THE THIRD TIME’S A CHARM. NOW IN HIS THIRD STINT IN HOUSTON (FIRST WHEN HE WAS 11 YEARS OLD LIVING IN ALIEF, AND AGAIN AS A MEMBER OF THE ’09–’10 ROCKETS), TREVOR ARIZA FINDS HIMSELF BACK IN CLUTCH CITY, THIS TIME WITH MORE CONFIDENCE, DEFENSIVE ABILITIES AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, HIS FAMILY.
Ariza made his way to Houston during the 2009–2010 season after a trade worth $33mil over five years using the Disabled Player Exception the Rockets were given in exchange for injured Yao Ming. He was then traded to the Hornets and Wizards before returning back to Houston last July. Ariza grew up in the league. He entered the league when he was just 19 and admits he’s learned a lot throughout his 10-year career (more than 650 games!). Mostly, he’s learned patience. “I definitely have more patience. I’ve learned to not …well, I try not to wear my emotions on my sleeve. I try to stay even-keeled, play my heart out and let the chips fall where they may.”
A true West-Coaster (he refers to 59 as “the 59” when talking horrendous traffic), Ariza is slowly getting used to life in Bellaire. Referred to by some as an “NBA vagabond,” Ariza says it’s his family (his wife, 3 kids and 70lb German Shepherd, Bowser) that really makes it home. “Having my family here is definitely part of that – my family is the most important thing to me – everything feels like home as long as they’re around,” he says.
The small forward also attributes the team. “Just being here with the
support of the organization is great; they welcomed me in with open
arms – the coaches, front office and my teammates especially. We’re
almost like brothers,” he says of his fellow players, especially Francisco Garcia who he says he has the most in common with. He laughs at inadvertently adding an adjective in front of the numbered highway, and says even though traffic is pretty awful, he still thinks pickup trucks are “pretty dope.” “I have one myself. I guess I’m part of Texas culture,” he says, laughing of his lifted Chevy Silverado.
RANDOM THOUGHTS (AND FAVORITES) FROM TREVOR ARIZA
“I think some of the stuff Clutch does is amazing. I saw him on one of those big balls shooting free throws –I’ve never seen that before –that was pretty dope.”
“I definitely enjoy seeing Bun B at games. He’s one of my favorite rappers; he’s a legend here in Texas.”
“My family loves Discovery Green –they just like to go out and play. And there’s a dog park close to my house.”