Daryl Morey: ‘It’s a joke’ to criticize James Harden for Game 6 performance
Daryl Morey is the true definition of a ride-or-die general manager.
Speaking at a year-end press conference on Friday after his Houston Rockets were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs with a embarrassing 114-75 loss the night before, Morey brushed off the idea that James Harden deserved blame for his catastrophically bad performance.
“To me, it’s a joke to get on him,” said Morey, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “The guy that’s hardest on James is James. Coach [Mike D’Antoni] and I saw him briefly after. We wanted to give him some space … You can imagine giving all the blood, sweat and tears he puts in. We’re all disappointed. But he’s No. 1.”
Harden shot 2-for-9 against the Spurs in the blowout Game 6 defeat, finishing with 10 points, seven assists, and six turnovers and causing many to wonder if he was dealing with some sort of injury. While the five-time All-Star guard enjoyed a career year in 2016-17 and carried the Rockets on his back for the balance of it, such an epic meltdown by a superstar player in an elimination game at home was nothing short of shocking. But Morey has always gone to bat for Harden, and that’s not about to change any time soon.