Why Rafael Stone is ready to lead the charge for the Rockets
With Rafael Stone getting promoted to GM for the Houston Rockets, let’s take a look at Stone’s resume, which should give Rockets fans a reason to be optimistic.
As of last Thursday, Daryl Morey stepped down from his position as the Houston Rockets’ GM, which wasn’t surprising, as spectators thought Morey would leave the Rockets immediately after the team lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. Now that Morey has decided to leave, Rafael Stone, who previously held a position of general counsel for the organization, is the team’s new GM.
Prior to Stone being with the Rockets for 14 seasons, he was practicing at Dewy Ballantine LLP’s merger and acquisitions and capital markets groups. While Stone was at Dewy Ballantine, he was over acquirers, targets, investment banks, investors, and issuers in numerous acquisitions and financing.
Stone received his education at Williams College, where he received his bachelor’s degree in political science and history in 1994. Stone later furthered his education by graduating from Stanford Law School in 1997.
Since Stone is great with numbers and financing, he’ll probably take the same approach Morey did when it comes to acquiring players. Stone did work in the analytical department for the Rockets, making him the co-captain under Morey.
Stone was essentially Morey’s right-hand man when it came to dissecting players from an analytical standpoint, and he conducted himself well by handling most of the required businesses inside of the Toyota Center.
Why Stone is ready for the Houston Rockets’ GM role
In an interview in 2019, Morey expressed trust and belief in Stone and Eli Witus, who is the Rockets’ new assistant GM, which should bode confidence in the duo.
“We are very fortunate to have Rafael and Eli,” said Morey. “They work wonderfully together, providing strategic insight and analysis. Collectively, they are on the cutting edge of basketball decision-making and have been key to our ability to put the team in the place we are today.
It is important to us organizationally to be flexible and creative as we find ways to add to our roster and these two are at the forefront of that effort. Whether it be acquiring Chris Paul two years ago or signing Clint Capela this summer, we are leaning on them to identify winning players and figure out the best method of fitting them into our team,” said Morey.
Now that Stone is the GM, he has become the main anchor in identifying the Rockets’ next coach. James Harden and Russell Westbrook have both advocated for John Lucas, while several other Rockets players have followed suit. It’s also been reported that Tyronn Lue was a popular pick among the players for the Rockets’ head coaching position.
Hopefully, Stone can lead the franchise to a great future, as the Houston Rockets haven’t won a championship in 25 years, with their championship drought extending back to the 1994-95 season.