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Houston Rockets’ Daryl Morey apologizes, job is reportedly safe

Houston Rockets Daryl Morey (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Daryl Morey (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey found himself in an undesirable predicament following his activity on Twitter regarding Hong Kong. Morey posted his support for Hong Kong seeking its independence from China.

Daryl Morey’s recent tweets involving Hong Kong caused Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta to instantly respond, making it clear he was in disagreement with Morey’s declaration of support. This whole fiasco has caused much speculation on whether Morey will lose his job or not. Morey posted an apology Sunday night on Twitter in multiple posts stating that he didn’t intend to offend anyone.

1/ I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.

— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) October 7, 2019

2/ I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention. My tweets are my own and in no way represent the Rockets or the NBA.

— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) October 7, 2019

It seemed like Morey wouldn’t have apologized if he were going to be getting fired anyways, as that would have been useless. Morey’s apology was likely all that was needed to put this to bed from the Rockets standpoint. Granted, the effects of this fiasco will be endless, but it would have been a much greater issue for Fertitta if he had fired Morey. According to Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle, Morey will not be getting fired.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle also echoed the same sentiments.

This is the right decision, as Fertitta would be hard pressed to move forward without Morey considering Morey built this roster and hired the coach. In addition, it’s impossible to replace the best in the league, which Morey is viewed as. This situation will undoubtedly cost Fertitta significant revenue, but if the Rockets win the title, Fertitta and the organization will still make significant revenue this season.

This whole situation is a lesson learned for Morey, and is the type of situation that would draw him and Fertitta closer, as Fertitta is essentially putting Morey above profits, which is not what many would expect from an owner.

Fertitta likely realized that Morey is a fan favorite amongst Houstonians and among Rockets superstar James Harden and it wouldn’t have gone over well with his fan base and his star player. Morey has been very vocal in his support of Harden, and even said he thought Harden was a better scorer than Michael Jordan.

For his part, Harden also apologized to the Chinese fans following the outcry, which is also a backing of Morey as well. On the Rockets behalf, it was wise to have their star player speak out, as Harden is beloved in China and would be the starpower needed for the Rockets to do some damage control.

The Houston Rockets needed to appeal to the Chinese market so it made sense for Fertitta to portray the image that he was considering firing Morey. But it looks like he was always planning to keep Morey and he never seriously considered moving on from Houston’s GM.

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Kudos to Fertitta for not succumbing to pressure and making the right decision!

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