Rockets Legend Rips Houston Officials, Texans As Winter Storm Ravages City

The former Houston Rockets basketball player often called "Mad Max" sent a message to Houston city officials Tuesday while Clutch City braces for another devastating day from Winter Storm Uri.

Vernon Maxwell compared the city's management to that of the Houston Texans football team. In other words, he insulted the city for insulting its citizens.

Maxwell, who played six of his 13 NBA seasons with the Rockets, helping them win back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995, tweeted Tuesday morning about Houston's power problems during a dangerous winter storm.

"So sorry to hear about all my people in Houston that are without power and water. Apparently the same people running the Texans are also in charge of the city. Stay safe Clutch City," Maxwell said.

So sorry to hear about all my people in Houston that are without power and water. Apparently the same people running the Texans are also in charge of the city. Stay safe Clutch City. ❤️

— Vernon Maxwell (@VernonMaxwell11) February 16, 2021

The slam against the Texans was directed at the team's management over the last few years, which has included trading away wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for a running back, the release of defensive end J.J. Watt last Friday and a stalemate between Texans brass and Deshaun Watson—the team's starting quarterback.

Vernon Maxwell
Former Houston Rockets player Vernon Maxwell compared the city’s management to that of the Houston Texans football team. Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The entire state of Texas was under a winter storm warning the last few days, and Gov. Greg Abbott issued an emergency declaration for all 254 counties in the Lone Star State. President Joe Biden approved the emergency request.

The state is experiencing unprecedented winter weather from the panhandle to the coast, from Texarkana to El Paso and back to Beaumont. Cities like Dallas and College Station hit single digits on the mercury Monday night—which doesn't account for an even colder wind chill outside. Galveston Beach got snow and ice, and the typically-warm coastal town had overnight temperatures in the 20s.

Monday night, there were 4.4 million people without power as the coldest night in decades froze the state solid. The state's citizens were encouraged to conserve energy if they had it, which meant opening blinds during the day, setting thermostats to lower-than-normal temperatures and anything they could do to help out the state's power grid. Meanwhile in Houston, the city had a skyline lit up Monday night while other parts of the city sat dark.

This is Houston tonight.

— Travis Herzog (@TravisABC13) February 16, 2021

The city said that most of the buildings that lit up downtown Houston Monday night were vacant or unoccupied, and Mayor Sylvester Turner urged the building owners to shut off the lights to help conserve energy, according to the Houston Chronicle.

This is crap. We have been without power since Sunday so even their claim of rolling blackouts is BS. The temp in my house is 40 degrees but pls keep the Houston skyline lit up....@GovAbbott @SylvesterTurner

— Lori Gutierrez (@gutimom) February 16, 2021

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the flow of power along grids in Texas, stated over the weekend that people around the state should expect rolling blackouts. As temperatures sharply dropped, it put more strain on the grid than ever anticipated.

"We have seen nothing like this honestly in Texas, that has covered the state like the storm has," ERCOT CEO Bill Magness told WFAA-TV in Dallas. "It increased demand to an extreme, extraordinary height, and then the storm also made it difficult for the supply to be provided.

"The supply side of the equation has been challenged to, whether wind turbines froze or natural gas supplies that got tight or solar farms that really couldn't produce because of the heavy cloud cover and snow."

Texas is forecast to have another round of winter storms move through, beginning Wednesday. Temperatures in Houston are not expected to reach 35 over the next couple of days, meaning the powerless people will continue to stay cold.

Harris County officials Tuesday afternoon said its residents could be without power several more days, or until the storm finally passes and things warm again.

"I am as frustrated as you are," said KP George, county judge of nearby Fort Bend County. "CenterPoint is now saying Houston area customers need to be prepared without power potentially for several more days as we experience continually cold and icy temperatures."