The topic of the Hong Kong tweet has come up again lately. The President brought it up. It came up on your CNBC interview. What would you want people to know about your position about that issue? Tilman Fertitta: “The tweet was seven words. There was nothing wrong with the tweet. That’s why one hour later I told ESPN when I was asked ‘Are you going to get rid of Daryl Morey,’ I was like, ‘Are you crazy? Why would I get rid of Daryl for that tweet?’ I think Daryl’s one of the best general managers in the league. Plus, we truly enjoy working with each other. To this day, we plan on working with each other and I expect Daryl to be here for years to come.”
Justin Sink: Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta brings up the @dmorey Hong Kong controversy during the White House restaurant meeting with @potus. “Is he still working for you?” Trump asks. “He must be pretty good.”
None of the executives doubted Morey's interest in the political issue in question, but almost all of them suggested that Morey would figure out how to leverage the ordeal into a net positive for himself. Several noted that, in recent years, Morey has immersed himself in so many disparate pursuits -- the Sloan conference, theater production, Silicon Valley, techno-activism -- that his impulses are best interpreted as groundwork for his next big thing.
Though a couple of NBA executives speculated Morey might have greater difficulty attracting marquee free agents to Houston, few said that his ability to perform his job would be affected beyond having to placate Fertitta, a shotgun marriage that sources close to the Rockets have considered a tenuous fit since Fertitta bought the team in 2017.
In his first public comments since the interview with ESPN, Fertitta, whose team opens the season on Thursday night against Milwaukee, agreed to provide written answers to questions through a spokeswoman. He said he “never considered firing or punishing Daryl” in the wake of Morey’s Twitter post. Fertitta also said that he needed to initially distance the Rockets from Morey because, “I felt it was important to make the distinction between Daryl speaking as a private citizen and Daryl as a representative of the Houston Rockets.”
Then it was back to silence. Fertitta declined to answer several follow-up questions, including whether he wished he had handled anything differently since Morey’s post. The Rockets said Morey was not available for comment.
The Rockets do not plan to discipline Morey, according to one person with knowledge of the ownership’s thinking who was not authorized to discuss the situation publicly. Yet it remains to be seen how much Morey’s apology will mollify the fans and various entities in China that expressed such loud dismay about Morey’s original Twitter post, in which he shared an image that read, “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong” — referencing the protests that have raged for months. The slogan is commonly chanted at demonstrations and has been spray-painted throughout the city.
Shams Charania: NBA is not disciplining Rockets GM Daryl Morey for his social media post, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Morey also issued apology tonight.
Ramona Shelburne: New Brooklyn Nets owner Joseph Tsai has been a major asset for the NBA in managing this crisis in China. Just as he was with UCLA during the LiAngelo Ball incident.
Sam Amick: Two sources with knowledge of the Rockets' ownership thinking strongly refute the Ringer report indicating that the GM Daryl Morey's job is in jeopardy as a result of the Hong Kong tweet-China situation. That being said, it's undeniably a mess.
Marc Stein: Echoing what @Sam Amick just tweeted, one source with knowledge of the situation tells @NYTSports that Houston has "no discipline" planned for Rockets GM Daryl Morey in the wake of this weekend's Hong Kong/China Twitter controversy
Daryl Morey: I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives. I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention. My tweets are my own and in no way represent the Rockets or the NBA.
Chris Mannix: Expect the NBA to issue a statement tonight addressing the controversy sparked by a tweet from Rockets GM Daryl Morey that expressed support for Hong Kong's fight for freedom.
Fertitta praised Brown and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, saying he would keep the Rockets management team in place. He and Brown had already spoken about changes great (addressing the NHL potential in Houston) and small (pledging to upgrade the players' dining room.) Mostly, he and his family celebrated a day long anticipated. "It's an unbelievable thing, an unbelievable day," his father Vic Fertitta said. "To see your son do what he's done and remember him as a child, this is just wonderful. He's been a Rockets fan for so many years, I just can't tell you. He's been a Rockets fan as long as I can remember. It's been about as good a story as you could tell."
Mark Berman: NBA sources: #Rockets GM Daryl Morey signed 4-year extension.Had 1 year left. Now tied to Rockets for 5years.Morey not available for comment
Morey has been frequently equated with one of his former employees, recently resigned Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie, who was hired in Philadelphia after cutting his teeth in Houston. According to other executives around the league, that’s not an entirely fair comparison. Where Hinkie was fully committed to playing percentages and probabilities while building a team, Morey has had a more deft hand when dealing with agents and other general managers, and with the personalities on his roster.
“Daryl is a guy who can understand where you’re coming from and work out something, be creative, be tenacious, all of those things,” one NBA team executive told Sporting News. “He approaches things with a lot of imagination and understanding of how to make deals work for everybody. With Sam, he was doing his own thing all along. It could be like you were speaking two different languages sometimes. He knew what he wanted, he would tell you, and that was the beginning and the end of the conversation.”
August 18, 2022 | 4:52 pm EDT Update
France defeated Belgium (90-71) which managed to stay competitive for one half, but after that couldn’t do much. Thomas Heurtel with 13 points and six assists, Rudy Gobert with 12 points and six rebounds, and Evan Fournier with 10 points and five rebounds led the charge for the “Bleus” who put on a show for the home crowd in Montpellier.
Michael Grady comes to Minnesota from Brooklyn, where he spent the last five-plus years on the Nets’ highly respected YES Network broadcast serving as a sideline reporter, pregame and postgame host and occasional play-by-play man. He steps into the high-profile role at BSN at a crucial moment for the franchise. The Wolves are coming off a renaissance season and pulled off the biggest trade of the summer, a blockbuster that brought Rudy Gobert to Minnesota from Utah with the goal of turning the Wolves into a contender in the Western Conference. “I know the fan base already has a sense of excitement about what this team can be, and I’m excited about fanning that flame,” Grady told The Athletic. “I’m excited to be a part of this community. That means a lot to me.”
It is the culmination of a long journey for Grady, who spent his younger days grinding up the ladder, from radio show producer to Pacers in-arena host and, eventually, a job with a television station in Indy that he parlayed into a coveted spot with the Nets’ broadcast crew. Grady would call 10-12 games per season for the Nets while filling in for Ian Eagle, one of the most respected voices in the game. The way he cultivated relationships with the coaches and players and how he prepared for broadcasts resonated with color analyst Sarah Kustok, who held Grady’s job as sideline reporter before he came aboard. “There are few professionals that compare to Michael Grady in his versatility, in his work ethic, in how much he pours his heart and soul into his craft,” Kustok said.
Grady grew up in Indianapolis during the Pacers’ heyday, when Miller and Mark Jackson were battling with Jordan’s Bulls and Patrick Ewing’s Knicks for Eastern Conference supremacy. Watching his team from the Midwest get overlooked and discounted in favor of the bigger-market teams instilled in him a defiance — an audacity, as he likes to put it — that could serve him well here in Minnesota. “You have the Lakers and Golden State and these big markets and these teams with players that are household names,” Grady said. “You mention Minnesota competing with them and some people might not take that seriously. But you have to have the audacity that you can go toe-to-toe with anybody out there. Being able to be a part of fanning the flame for what this franchise is building is something that I take very seriously and I’m really excited about.”
August 18, 2022 | 4:19 pm EDT Update
New York Basketball: “I was told by a source that the Jazz actually have a couple of offers, that I was told are from other teams outside of NY that they like an awful lot…“ — Utah sports radio host Spence Checketts to Jazz reporter Andy Larsen about Donovan Mitchell.
The Lithuanian national team defeated Spain in a close-fought battle behind Ignas Brazdeikis and Jonas Valanciunas’ effort in a friendly game in Vilnius with a final score of 78-76 (25-17, 14-13, 17-23, 22-23). Lithuania: Jonas Valanciunas 16 (9 REB), Ignas Brazdeikis 16, Rokas Giedraitis 12, Marius Grigonis 11, Domantas Sabonis 7 (6 AST, 5 REB); Spain: Lorenzo Brown 18 (5 AST), Dario Brizuela 12, Juan Hernangomez 8, Sebastian Saiz 7 (5 REB), Jaime Fernandez 7, Xabier Lopez Arostegui 7.