The exact moment Daryl Morey decided he was done with Rockets
Former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey may have only stepped down from his position a few days ago, but he made up his mind right after the Rockets were eliminated from the 2020 NBA Playoffs held in the Orlando bubble. Despite his intentions, Morey still participated in the Rockets’ current head coaching search over the last month, mainly serving as a consultant for the team. He will officially leave the organization on Nov. 1.
The Rockets had another eventful season, this time with James Harden and Russell Westbrook leading the way. Houston beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in seven games in the first round of the playoffs, only to get smacked around by the Los Angeles Lakers in Round 2. After the loss and Mike D’Antoni’s emotional departure, Morey ultimately decided it was best to step away from the game and focus his energy on spending time with his loved ones.
“Yeah, it was real personal,” Morey said. “‘Obviously (the bubble was) intense for all of us. It’s been a great 14-year run just tied in with my family, (but) my youngest just graduated from high school and is on a gap year, my daughter’s on a gap year — the pandemic gap year. It just felt like the right time and the Rockets are in great hands with Rafael Stone and they’re going to make a great coaching hire that I’ve been helping with and I think it’s going to be great going forward. …Yeah, I left Orlando after we had the tough loss to the Lakers, talked to my family and then I told Tilman.”
Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta also sounded off and voiced his opinion on Morey’s recent departure from the team:
“The day after. I mean he just said, ‘You know, I’m kind of just struggling and don’t know what I want to do,’” he said. “To tell y’all, when we signed Daryl’s last extension, Daryl told me, ‘You know, I’m not going to always be here (and) when my last son graduates (he might leave).’
The Rockets general manager came to Houston from Boston in 2006 and made a name for himself when he successfully pulled off a blockbuster trade for James Harden in 2012. His analytics-driven philosophies also changed the way the game of basketball is being played today.
Morey also previously made controversial comments on Twitter with regards to the situation in China, a country where the organization has an extensive relationship after the selection of Rockets great Yao Ming back in 2002.
With the 48-year-old executive now out of the picture, the Rockets will aim to open a new chapter as they attempt to piece together another contending team for the coming years.