(SP) – The Houston Rockets have turned back on their apparent deal with guard James Harden to sign him to a 4-year, $170 million contract extension and instead announced today that they will be signing 1,000 teachers to the team at salaries of $40,000 annually.

“At the end of the day, I struggled to pay one person to play basketball what could cover several towns worth of teachers,” said Rockets GM Daryl Morey. “It really hit me when I read some online comments about the deal, and I just felt I had to do what was right. I don’t know what kind of basketball team we’ll be, but we will be able to read and write with the best of them.”

Morey said the Rockets will now have to figure out how to fit 1,000 school teachers onto an NBA roster that only allows 15 players.

“We’ll figure it out when we have to,” said Morey. “What’s important is that we have done the right thing. Everything will work out.”

But Houston’s decision has not been met with full support.

“I’m all for teachers, but it’s sad that they didn’t sign any police officers or soldiers,” said one Houston radio show host. “And that’s not even considering the product on the court. I can’t be the only one who thinks if the troops wanted to, they could put together a football team and dominate the NBA.”