Jackie MacMullan reveals recent conversation with Rockets’ Daryl Morey

General Manager Daryl Morey of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
General Manager Daryl Morey of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan shared details of a recent conversation she had with former Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, which made news of his departure surprising for her.

After 14 years with the Houston Rockets, longtime general manager Daryl Morey decided to call it quits on Thursday, in a move that seemed to be an abrupt one. Morey had been helping the Rockets replace Mike D’Antoni, who also decided against remaining with the franchise.

Morey was instrumental in the current construction of the Rockets’ roster, as he built the team to his liking. Morey decided to implement small ball, which led to the decision to trade Clint Capela for Robert Covington.

After just one season with newcomers Russell Westbrook, and Robert Covington, Morey appeared to be returning to the Space City, based on the account of ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. MacMullan stated on Thursday’s episode of ESPN’s Around the Horn that she had a recent conversation with the 2016-17 Executive of the Year, which made Thursday’s news surprising to her.

“I am a little surprised. I talked to Daryl a few weeks ago and it sounded to me like he was planning on staying. That was before Houston was eliminated in the postseason.”

MacMullan shares recent conversation with Houston Rockets’ Daryl Morey

MacMullan’s account leads one to believe that the Rockets’ Western Conference Semifinals loss to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers may have played a part in the longtime Houston Rockets general manager’s decision to step down. This would be surprising, as the Lakers were the overwhelming favorite in the series, as ESPN’s entire panel picked them to defeat the Rockets.

The Lakers simply had the size and depth that the Rockets didn’t have, as they received contributions from role players such as Rajon Rondo, Markieff Morris, Dwight Howard, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. There have been several theories that have been floated around regarding why Morey stepped down, but losing to the Lakers is a first.

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But MacMullan joins all Houston Rockets fans in being surprised by Morey’s decision, as we’ve all been grasping at straws, in attempts of identifying the true reason.