Tilman Fertitta Rumors
Fertitta said Morey warned him in March 2019 — when the GM signed a five-year contract extension — that this could be a year when he decided to step away because of his son’s high school graduation. “He had always said, ‘I’m not going to be here forever,’ and, ‘At some point, I might want to go back to the East Coast,'” Fertitta said. “I didn’t think it was going to happen. I knew that this was that year, but Daryl’s been here [almost] 15 years. I was surprised, but yet I remembered the previous conversations. He’s reminded me of that a few times.”
While that was widely assumed, and everyone knew of the dysfunctional relationship between Harden and Paul, MacMahon gave some additional insight into the motivation that’s pretty notable. Apparently, Fertitta believed Paul had the “worst contract” he’d ever seen. The full monologue from MacMahon: That trade was made because Tilman Fertitta wanted it made — he thought Chris Paul’s contract was the worst that he’d ever seen in business or sports — and because James Harden wanted it made. James Harden, obviously there was a personality clash, this stuff has all been well documented and well reported. I still believe, and I wrote this last summer before things went down. I still believe that if necessary they could have managed that situation; I know a lot of people throughout the organization believe that.
In an interview with The Athletic on Thursday night, Morey and Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta discussed the unorthodox way this massive move went down. For Morey’s part, he cited family reasons as the main inspiration behind the move and said the D’Antoni departure that was known to disappoint him did not play a part in his decision. “That didn’t affect my decision, um, at all,” Morey said.
Prior to the coaching search, Fertitta had said that Morey would have a large influence in picking the next Rockets head coach, but The Athletic has learned that Morey’s role in the coaching search had diminished over the past few weeks and he had been operating essentially as a consultant. The Rockets have interviewed Jeff Van Gundy, Ty Lue, Kenny Atkinson, Stephen Silas, David Vanterpool, Wes Unseld Jr., and John Lucas so far.
Tim MacMahon on Daryl Morey stepping down: Well, this was not Tilman Fertitta his decision. This was initiated by Daryl Morey and they came to an agreement. You know, there was obviously speculation around the league since the freedom for Hong Kong tweet that Daryl Morey was going to be gone. And that situation, it did not push Tilman Fertitta to make this decision because again, this was not Tillman pushing out Daryl Morey, but Darrell saying hey, I want to step away and then come into an agreement. I do think talking to some people with Rockets that just the kind of the different sort of scrutiny that came with that and and the… I don’t know if guilt is the right word or pressure that that came with costing not just Tilman Fertitta dozens of millions of dollars, but the NBA as a whole hundreds of millions of dollars… I think that weighed on Daryl
Tim MacMahon: After Fertitta publicly declared that his job was safe, and that he was going to lead the head coach in search and decided that he wanted to step away he wanted some time away. He got paid some money to to step away thanks to the five year extension that he signed in, in 2019.
Morey’s resignation will be effective on Nov. 1, the team announced Thursday, as he will continue to assist owner Tilman Fertitta and the Rockets’ front office in the franchise’s search for a new head coach. “For me, it was just a great run,” Morey told ESPN on Thursday night in a telephone conversation that also included Fertitta. “Personally, the timing worked for me. My youngest son just graduated from high school, and it was just the right time to see what’s next with family and other potential things in the future. It just felt like the right time.”