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Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey Responds to Cuban Criticism

By Brett David Roberts

May 2, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban during the game against the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Spurs 113-111. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Cuban has levied a number of low blows and accusations about the Houston Rockets organization and General Manager Daryl Morey. Morey has been suspected of being serpent-like with his acquisitions of James Harden and Dwight Howard, but he says the Rockets have a better team, and free agents don’t want to sign with a team whose best player is in his twilight years.

Morey has a point, and the Rockets are certainly rising as the Mavs decline. But this isn’t all about a rivalry between the teams, because legitimately neither are top-4 in the Western Conference.

Morey had this to say:

“I think [Cuban’s] pissed that we went after Dirk [Nowitzki] in free agency, however unsuccessful it was,” Morey told Yahoo Sports.

“We’ve been pretty good, and I think he’s doing a smart thing to take on a rival,” Morey told Yahoo Sports late Sunday. “He should want to beat up on San Antonio, too, but it’s hard to paint the Spurs that way. So he’s directed his bully pulpit onto us. Our owner stays above the fray, so I’m outgunned honestly.

But let’s be clear: If the money’s equal between the Rockets and Mavericks, I think players are picking Houston. Every time. For Dwight [Howard], I just don’t think it was a hard choice between us and Dallas. If you want to win, you’re going to want to join our organization. We have a first-team All-NBA player in his prime [James Harden]. They have an enormously talented superstar [Dirk Nowitzki] but he obviously isn’t 24 years old.

The choice was pretty obvious between the two teams. Dwight is the smart guy in this.

I completely reject it (claims the Rockets lacy chemistry).

Our teams have had great chemistry, and it’s something we believe in. Hey, if Mark believed so much in chemistry, he wouldn’t have busted up a title team for cap room. He’s trying to reunite a lot of those people now, bringing back the center [Tyson Chandler] from that title team. Maybe he’s got some chemistry religion recently.

He’s tripled his analytics staff. If he’s equating analytics with not caring about chemistry, well, he’s tripling down on it. I think he’s smart to paint a competitor in a negative light, but none of those statements are lining up. He says that we’re the team that you sign with and then we will trade you, when that’s what he said he would’ve done with Dwight.

We don’t care about chemistry, but he busted up a championship team for what he hoped cap room could do.

We’re fighting for the hearts and minds of free agents.”

Source:  Adrien Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports