Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s recent comments regarding how the NBA needs to be improved hasn’t drawn enough attention and praise for the highly scrutinized GM.
On Tuesday Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was on FS1’s First Things First with Nick Wright to share his thoughts on all things Rockets related. This wasn’t necessarily the best timing considering how the Rockets were defeated by the New York Knicks just one night earlier.
Wright has Houston ties of his own, as he was half of SportsRadio 610’s “In the Loop with Nick and Lopez” which was a morning show he shared with John Lopez, who is still on the station. Wright still appears on Houston’s local Fox affiliate in the mornings as well, so we know he’s up-to-date on all things Houston-related.
This had to have helped him get a sitdown with Morey, as we don’t often see him do interviews in front of a national audience. If you haven’t had the chance to catch Morey’s interview, here’s your opportunity.
Morey touched on many things but he exposed the current culture of the NBA’s media members, which should have been the main takeaway. This wasn’t Morey’s first time exposing the NBA this season, although the first time happened indirectly. Morey had the below to say regarding how he would fix basketball.
“One thing I would change too is the fact that right now, if you tune in to alot of the NBA telecasts, the announcers are hate-watching their own game. It’s amazing to me. You’ll tune in and they’ll be like ‘what’s happening here, they’re shooting too many 3-pointers.’ It’s crazy to me.
Imagine if Tony Romo was like ‘this passing isn’t going to work, where’s my cloud of dust’ literally the whole game. That’s NBA games right now… If you tune into any NBA game, that’s what we get all night.
Morey didn’t stop there, addressing how the media tends to dismiss the regular season as unimportant:
And the other thing that happens when you tune in is they go ‘why are we watching tonight, nothing matters. Nothing matters until the playoffs.’
I think we have the best game that highlights our best athletes in the world every single night and it’s almost like cognitive dissonance, people tune in and they’re being told how they shouldn’t watch and how it’s not a fun game to watch. It’s bizarre to me, the NFL would never let it happen.”
Kudos to Morey for pointing this out, as it needed to be stated and it was clear no one else was going to. We’ve heard far too many basketball writers and analysts complain about the Houston Rockets being difficult to watch, most notably Bill Simmons of The Ringer.
Congrats to the Rockets — I didn’t think it was possible for me to hate watching them even more than I already did, but they pulled it off.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) February 7, 2020
Simmons continued just minutes later, and the next tweet is exactly what Morey was referencing.
I’m out. I can’t watch this. And they wonder why NBA ratings are going down.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) February 7, 2020
The Houston Rockets have been accused of ruining the game and seem to always draw blame for the ratings being down, but here’s an alternative thought. Maybe, just maybe, the fans aren’t tuning in because of all of the negativity by the media. In other words, Simmons is contributing to the same problem he’s pointing out.
Surely any basketball fan will want to watch one of the four best teams in the Western Conference, which the Rockets are. Truth be told, a true basketball fan would watch any playoff team and would especially watch any All-Star duo such as Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
The Rockets are one of the best teams in the entire league, so it’s easy to see why fans would pass on the NBA when they’re being told not to watch one of the league’s best teams. Morey made a really good point by stating how none of the other professional leagues have such negativity in the media, which is certainly true.
In fact, it’s very common to have a primetime NFL game between two non-contenders on Monday Night Football or Sunday Night Football. We certainly hear their analysts bash teams, as they’re expected to do, but we never hear anyone say a team is unwatchable.
What we hear instead is the NFL talking up their young stars, regardless of how good their teams are. This is especially the case with quarterbacks, as we generally hear why we should watch a game or pay attention to a team because of said star quarterback.
The same could be said for the MLB, as the 2019 AL MVP was given to Mike Trout, whose Los Angeles Angels didn’t even make the postseason, which isn’t uncommon for the sport. Furthermore, we always hear young phenoms being hyped up, such as Bryce Harper during the beginning stages of his career.
Harper’s Washington Nationals only made the playoffs twice during his first four years in the MLB, but that didn’t stop the praise from flowing in for him. The same can be said for essentially any young promising pitcher, regardless of the success of their team.
It seems like the other leagues understand the role they play in the growth and attention their product draws, so they refrain from the negativity regarding their sport. The NBA would be wise to do the same, especially if they really care about the ratings. If they need help on what changes to make, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey would be a good place to start.