Having survived final preseason cuts, Scott Machado has made his way from Iona to NBA, and will be on Houston Rockets' roster for their season opener tomorrow night in Detroit. (Photo courtesy of Houston Chronicle)
The long road is finally over, and as of tomorrow night, the tale of Scott Machado will write a new chapter.
Machado, the Iona point guard that was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Houston Rockets on the heels of a senior season that saw the Queens native lead the Gaels to their first NCAA Tournament since 2006 while earning MAAC Player of the Year honors in the process, made the opening night roster after Houston released fellow guard Shaun Livingston yesterday. Machado will join former Knick Toney Douglas as backup point guards behind marquee free agent signing Jeremy Lin, and will be in uniform as the Rockets tip off the 2012-13 season at the Palace of Auburn Hills against the Detroit Pistons.
"I was a little nervous," Machado told the Houston Chronicle yesterday. "We had four good point guards here, and I was the newcomer, the undrafted one. With a whole bunch of people coming in, there was nervousness."
Machado, who racked up totals of 21 points and 32 assists in his six preseason games despite playing an average of just over thirteen minutes per game, joins a Houston roster that made headlines over the weekend when the Rockets acquired James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder; trading Kevin Martin and first-round draft choice Jeremy Lamb to the reigning Western Conference champions along with guard Daequan Cook, forward Lazar Hayward, and future draft considerations. It is felt by some fans and even basketball insiders that the rookie will eventually win the starting job from Lin at some point, especially after a 9-point, 11-assist exhibition performance against the San Antonio Spurs two weeks ago, but the 22-year-old Machado is just thrilled to get to work and start his new life as a professional basketball player.
"I feel like it's a true blessing," Machado said. "It's something I've always wanted. I've been working hard to get to where I wanted to go. It feels real good."
From the moment he takes the court in Michigan tomorrow night, Machado will have made it, becoming just the sixth Iona alumnus to play in the NBA, and first since Sean Green took the court in 1994. A Daly Dose Of Hoops will have updates on Machado's rookie season throughout the year, so stay tuned for future news and notes.