Until the Houston Rockets acquired the services of Dwight Howard during the off-season, center Omer Asik had an impeccable reputation as a shot-blocker and defender who everyone loved in Houston. However, things have flown off the rails a bit for Asik in recent days, with reports that he has demanded a trade from the team as a result of a lack of playing time and fit concerns with Howard in the frontcourt.
With that, Asik took an unexpected leave of absence from the team, and his status was very much up in the air… until Monday.
Dwight Howard said Omer Asik apologized to the team today and practice was back to normal.
— Jenny Dial Creech (@jennydialcreech) November 18, 2013
Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle (among others) reports that Asik returned to the team on Monday, and even apologized to his teammates for his behavior. This comes on the heels of multiple reports indicating that Asik was set to return to game action on Tuesday, and it’s encouraging to see him falling in line.
On the court, Asik hasn’t been quite himself this season, especially when playing alongside Dwight Howard. He has rebounded at an excellent rate (as usual) of 19.3% this season, but Asik’s PER is under 10 (which is woeful) and those numbers fall further off the cliff when he’s joined by Howard.
It remains to be seen whether Houston can trade Asik for anything resembling equal value in light of his recent actions, but his return to the team is encouraging for both parties.