4. Daryl Morey
Current Narrative: Analytical approach only works in the regular season, can’t put together a championship team
Since 2007, Daryl Morey has brought his analytical base philosophy to the Houston Rockets in an effort to help them succeed. For all of the negative press this brings him, it has actually changed the league.
When the Rockets went to their “3-pointers and layups” style a few years ago, most people scoffed at the idea. Nowadays, a team shooting 35 to 40 3-pointers in a game is commonplace. The Rockets, of course, are still at the forefront of this philosophy, but the entire league has adopted this style of play in one way or another.
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Just like Westbrook, Harden and D’Antoni, the narrative has shifted away from Morey’s many accomplishments to the common rebuttal of how many rings he has.
This, in itself, is a flawed criticism, considering 29 other teams are in the same boat every year, no matter how great they were all season.
As the GM of a team that innovated a strategy that spread throughout the entire league, it’s only expected that he’d face lofty criticism amid high expectations.
Morey has never had a losing season since taking over in 2007, but again his legacy as one of the best general managers in the last decade-plus will not be validated fully until his team brings home the championship trophy.
A ring for Morey will show that his revolutionary approach and newest version of small ball can win at the highest level.
There has never been an organization from top to bottom that has been linked more by one narrative than this current version of the Houston Rockets. For all the accolades and awards they have all won, it comes down to one thing: the Larry O’Brien trophy.
If they are able to have their biggest moment happen in June this year, these four will finally get the validation they all rightfully deserve.