Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey didn’t hesitate to give credit where it’s due, citing MVP runner-up James Harden as a right-hand man for pulling off free agency ventures like the one that brought Chris Paul to Clutch City back in June.
During a conversation with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski in his podcast, Morey shared that it is Harden’s demeanor and intelligence that have made him such a good recruiter, making his job far easier by handling the monetary aspect for the most part.
“There’s no coaching there. He’s not naturally an extroverted guy,” Morey said of Harden. “He’s a worker, a quiet guy who just wants to win. His first job if he wasn’t doing this wouldn’t be like the lead sales guy somewhere. He’d probably be the strategic guy because he’s so smart.
“With that said, one-on-one he’s so good with people. Obviously the great guys are all together. Whether it be USA Basketball or weddings or whatever it is. They get together and they talk. And one-on-one I can say James is an unbelievable recruiter because he’s smart. He understands the plan. He wants to execute for the team he’s leading. It makes my job easy, frankly, to have him.”
Morey could very well be in line to get Executive of the Year if this year’s Rockets can make some noise in the West, and if he does, he’ll owe part of it to the man with the beard, as he was the catalyst that brought Paul in while the L.A. Clippers were favorites to retain his services.