The Magnificent Possession

"The Magnificent Possession" is a science fiction short story by American writer Isaac Asimov. It was first published in the July 1940 issue of Future Fiction and reprinted in the 1972 collection The Early Asimov, it was the ninth story written by Asimov, the seventh to be published. The author recalls that the story, an attempt at humour, was embarrassing to read and that he was glad that his long-time editor, John W. Campbell, never saw it, as he would have rejected it. Asimov was majoring in chemistry at the time he wrote the story in late November 1938. After the story titled Ammonium, was rejected by Thrilling Wonder Stories, Asimov became discouraged and retired it; when Future Fiction accepted his story Ring Around the Sun, he dug out Ammonium and submitted it as well. The title was changed by Charles D. Hornig. Walter Sills, a struggling New York consulting chemist, is developing a method of plating metal with pure ammonium, which would be cheaper than using traditional plating metals such as nickel or chromium.

Despite not having properly tested the plating process, he obtains some publicity for his discovery, which leads him into all sorts of problems with gangsters who want to steal his formula and crooked politicians who seek to exploit him. He hopes to sell the process to a steel magnate, but discovers at the last moment that the process generates an foul smell which lasts indefinitely, making it commercially unviable. Asimov, Isaac, "The Magnificent Possession" in The Early Asimov ISBN 0-385-03979-4; the Magnificent Possession title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database

2004–05 Houston Rockets season

The 2004–05 NBA season was the Rockets' 38th season in the National Basketball Association, their 34th season in the city of Houston. During the offseason, the Rockets acquired All-Star forward Tracy McGrady and Juwan Howard from the Orlando Magic, acquired All-Star center Dikembe Mutombo from the Chicago Bulls, who acquired him from the New York Knicks, signed free agent Bob Sura; the Rockets struggled with a 6–11 start to the season played around.500 as they traded Jim Jackson to the New Orleans Hornets for David Wesley in late December. The Rockets would on win eight straight games in February, as McGrady and Yao Ming were both selected to play in the 2005 NBA All-Star Game at Denver. At midseason, the team traded Maurice Taylor to the New York Knicks, acquired Mike James from the Milwaukee Bucks; the Rockets won their final seven games finishing third in the Southwest Division with a 51–31 record, their first 50-win season since 1997. However, in the first round of the playoffs, they lost to their in-state rival, the Dallas Mavericks in seven games after taking a 2–0 series lead.

Following the season, Sura retired. One notable game during the season was the Rockets' December 9 matchup against the San Antonio Spurs. In the fourth quarter, at 44 seconds left, the score was 76-68 and the Spurs had the lead. With 35 seconds remaining, Tracy McGrady made a three-pointer. Four seconds Devin Brown was fouled and made both of his free throws. With 24 seconds remaining, McGrady made another three-pointer, he was fouled by Tim Duncan. He made a free throw, converting a four-point play. With 16 seconds remaining, Scott Padgett intentionally fouled Tim Duncan, because the Rockets were over the foul limit, Duncan went to the free throw line and made both of his free throws. Five seconds McGrady made yet another three-pointer, this time over Bruce Bowen; this left the Rockets in a two-point deficit. San Antonio took a timeout. At 7.9 seconds remaining, Brent Barry inbounded the ball to Devin Brown. McGrady stole the ball from Brown and ran to the three-point line, where he made another three-pointer, which would be the game-winning shot.

The performance is considered by some to be one of McGrady's career highlights and become a Hall of Famer in 2017. Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets Regular season series Both teams were tied 2–2 in the regular-season series: Last Playoffs meeting: 1988 Western Conference First Round Tracy McGrady, All-NBA Third Team 2004-05 NBA season