In today’s article, I have decided to write a thank you note to Houston Rockets GM, Daryl Morey. Why you ask? Well, because I believe he deserves one.
Dear Mr. Daryl Morey,
First off, I would like to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your family. I write you this letter as a thank you for the last 11 years you have served as the General Manager for our Houston Rockets. Growing up, my father made sure I was as big of a Rockets fan as he was. I am fairly certain I was the only kid in the 2nd grade wearing an old Matt Bullard or Mario Elie jersey to school multiple times a week. As I have gotten older, my love for the Rockets has only grown stronger, and now, my father and I share season tickets up in 429. I once joked with him, “You do not want to get tickets closer to the court? “ He always joked back, “Up top are where the real fans sit!! “.
After watching the Rockets defeat the Nuggets last night, I started to think about how far our Rockets have come under your management. To truly understand how far this team has come, let us examine the Top 4 Daryl Moments over the years.
4. The signing of Coach Mike D’Antoni. If you know anything about Coach D’ Antoni, it is that his teams can certainly score the basketball. In previous stops, Coach had guys like Steve Nash and Carmelo Anthony to work with, and those are pretty solid offensive weapons to have in your arsenal. However, he had never worked with a guy like James Harden before. It is fairly obvious that Harden has flourished with Coach, but what is even more impressive, is his work with the rotational guys. For example, PJ Tucker is leading the league in 3 point percentage from the corners. Gerald Green is turning into a guy that can play both ends of the floor, and credits Coach with instilling the confidence in him to be able to adapt his game, this late into his career.
3. The drafting, and re-signing, of Center Clint Capela. When Clint was drafted with the 25th draft pick, most Rockets fans responded in a similar manner, “Who is that? “ Outside of James Harden, I can honestly say there is not one guy on this roster that has come as far as Clint has in the last few years. Per Basketball Reference, over the past three seasons, his numbers are up in Points, Blocks, Rebounds, and Free Throw Percentage, year over year.
2. The trade to acquire Point Guard Chris Paul, and the re-signing of CP3. On June 28th, 2017, The Rockets acquired Chris Paul for Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hillard, DeAndre Liggins, Lou Williams, and Kyle Wiltjer. At the time, most people were stoked for CP3 but were upset about losing Beverley. I understand where they were coming from, but after seeing what Paul and Harden were together, people quickly forgot about what the team was like before the trade. One thing that most people overlook is how much Harden’s game has grown since Chris Paul has come on board. James appears to be more decisive than ever, and the results speak for themselves. In addition to the trade, having Paul sign his 4 year deal with the team was equally important to the long term success of the team.
1. The trade to acquire Shooting Guard James Harden, and the re-signing of James Harden. On October 27th, 2012, The Houston Rockets traded Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin, and 3 draft picks (Steven Adams, Mitch McGary, and Alex Abrines). In his first game in a Rockets uniform, Harden put up 37 Points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals. In his acquisition of James Harden, Daryl envisioned getting his franchise guy, but it is hard to imagine that he would turn into what he is today. James Harden has turned into one of, if not the most dangerous offensive weapon in the game today. In today’s NBA, Rockets fans need to truly appreciate his greatness, and not take it for granted.
There is really only one thing left on the To-Do List for Daryl and his Rockets… Can he bring that elusive 3rd title to Clutch City? That verdict is still out, but in my opinion, I would not want to have anyone else at the helm to try and get us there. So Daryl, on behalf of me and Red Nation, THANK YOU. As always, GO ROCKETS!!