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Daryl Morey, Tilman Fertitta ‘address’ China controversy’s role in Rockets GM’s departure


It’s been a little more than a year since a tweet by Daryl Morey hampered the relationship between the NBA and China. And fresh off his departure as the Houston Rockets’ general manager, Morey as well as team owner Tilman Fertitta remained mum on the controversy.

In a report by Sopan Deb and Marc Stein of the New York Times, Morey and Fertitta declined to answer questions about the NBA-China controversy. They also pointed out that amid all they’ve been through, their relationship remains great. But after panning the questions about the China row, the two ended the interview.

“In an interview, Morey and Fertitta declined to answer questions about the China uproar and abruptly ended the interview after receiving questions about it. Morey did say the decision to leave Houston was his own. Fertitta said their relationship was not affected by the Hong Kong tweet. “We’ve never had a cross word over it,” he said.

Morey said their relationship had “been great the whole time” and that he was not leaving because of a disagreement over the team’s strategy or direction.”

To recall, after Morey’s controversial tweet, Fertitta and the rest of the NBA tried to distance themselves from it. They noted that it was Morey’s opinion alone and it does not represent the league or the Rockets organization.

Morey recently resigned as the Rockets’ general manager after 13 years in the post. During his stint, the Rockets landed several big stars including James Harden. Together with Mike D’Antoni, Morey’s approach to the game included the extensive use of analytics.