Daryl Morey Rumors
Joe Vardon: After a raucous start, James Harden has scored 21, 15, 15, 20, and 16 points in his last five games. The Rockets lost four. It’s early, but his 24.8 ppg is his lowest since 2011-12. The Sixers view these as protest numbers. ‘Daryl (Morey) likes points,’ one league source said
Marc Stein: Sunday’s Rockets-Lakers game was broadcast in China via Tencent … Houston’s first game shown in China since former GM Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong in October 2019. The Sixers, Morey’s new team, have not been aired in China this season
Those wishes became awkward after Morey “accidentally” posted an anniversary tweet on Twitter commemorating the Harden trade that landed him in Houston back in 2012. While Morey was fined by the league due to what was considered violating the tampering policy, it hasn’t helped smooth things over for Houston. From ESPN’s Brian Windhorst: “The Rockets were pissed off about it,” said Windhorst in regards to Morey’s ill-timed tweet while appearing on ESPN’s “The Jump”. “And rightly so. The league slaps him for it. …There’s a lot of tension there.”
Would you rather have 24-year-old Ben Simmons, who might yet learn to shoot 3s, or 31-year-old Harden who showed up to training camp late and not in peak shape but still managed a cool 78 points and 25 assists over his first two games? It’s a lively NBA debate. Whatever Morey’s true preference, Stone almost certainly knows it. They spent years of friendship—including carpooling to work—talking about basketball, advanced analytics, and assessing players. As Rockets sources point out, Stone is steeped in Morey’s thoughts on almost every player in the league, and vice versa.
And besides, many days Morey didn’t need a car at all. Another employee, general counsel Rafael Stone, lived nearby and was happy to drive Morey to work. Morey and Stone got along fine. One Rockets employee at the time remembers them as “best friends.” In a recent Zoom press conference, Stone made a passing comment about Morey damaging his dash board with a foot on a morning commute. “Daryl and I are extremely different people,” Stone added. “We worked well together and became friends because we’re from very different perspectives but oftentimes ended up at the exact same point.”
One rival executive says he has come to avoid calling Morey with trade offers, for fear they will leak to the media. Public pressure might help Morey gain leverage to complete a deal. But the leverage comes at the expense of upsetting both organizations’ stability as players, agents, coaches, and families stress about the future.