Report: Rockets didn’t buy Daryl Morey’s reason for leaving

Houston Rockets Daryl Morey (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Daryl Morey (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets reportedly weren’t convinced about former general manager Daryl Morey’s reason for departing with the franchise.

Longtime Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey surprised many when he abruptly decided to leave the franchise, as Morey was the face behind the Rockets’ playing style. Morey coined “Moreyball”, which was an ode to Bill James in the baseball sector, who introduced analytics to the sports world.

Morey won the Rockets’ fanbase over when he pulled off the trade of the century with the Oklahoma City Thunder, in a deal that sent James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets, which centered around former Rockets sharpshooter Kevin Martin. Morey’s explanation upon his departure was that he wanted to spend a “gap year” with his college-aged kids, who are at home due to the novel coronavirus.

But the Rockets’ organization didn’t exactly buy that justification, as outlined by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, who spoke on the matter on Sunday night’s episode of Texas Sports Nation, which airs on Houston’s NBC-affiliate KPRC.

Houston Rockets reportedly didn’t believe Morey’s reason for exiting the franchise

“I don’t think it’s hard feelings so much that he left or that he took the other job. Now the ‘gap year’ line, I think there are those in the organization that say ‘You took a gap weekend, you didn’t take a gap year.’

That line, that explanation sort of rings hollow now. But he was here for 14 years, 13 as the general manager. No one is surprised that he’s in the league. They didn’t think it would happen this quickly, but no one is surprised.

He was good to work with and good to work for, so I don’t think there’s hard feelings, but the immediate reaction was over that line.”

Feigen added more on the subject, as he explained the true reason why Morey left the Houston Rockets.

“With Daryl it really was, in his own mind at least, ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’ He really felt like, ‘I need to start over.’ He’s been banging his head against the wall, trying to get the Rockets through those last steps.

When you go all in, and you lose, you get up and leave the table. And that’s what Daryl did.”

Morey took over the job as the Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations, which turned the heads of many of the Rockets’ fanbase when the news was announced. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta announced Rafael Stone as Morey’s replacement, and understandably so, as Stone has spent 15 years with the franchise, while spending several years under Morey’s tutelage.

Many have speculated that Morey could strike a deal with the Rockets, that would send Joel Embiid to his former employer, who is in dire need of a big man. But such a deal isn’t likely to happen, for a number of reasons.

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Hopefully Morey’s departure can be a blessing in disguise, as Stone is beyond ready to lead the charge, regardless of how he landed the opportunity.