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Friday, December 6, 2019

Articles tagged: Daryl Morey

Daryl Morey, NBA issue statements in response to China backlash

Daryl Morey

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey issued a statement via Twitter on Sunday in response to the controversy sparked by his tweet about Hong Kong. The NBA also issued a statement on the matter.

While in Japan ahead of exhibition games his Rockets are playing in the country, Morey sent a tweet supporting those protesting in Hong Kong. Protests have been ongoing in Hong Kong since earlier this year and were renewed this month, even resulting in some deaths.

Morey’s tweet angered many in China, with the Chinese Basketball Association, Chinese consulate, and several businesses — including the NBA’s digital partner in the country — denouncing the GM’s viewpoint and moving to sever or suspend relationships with the Rockets. The Rockets became one of the most popular teams in China because they had Yao Ming for several years. The country’s interest and support of the Rockets provides a significant part of the value of the $2.2 billion owner Tilman Fertitta paid for the team in 2017.

About an hour after a report from The Ringer said the Rockets were considering firing Morey, the GM sent a statement on Twitter.

“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,” Morey said.

Morey did not apologize for his tweet; instead, he said he did not intend to offend people. He also tried to separate himself from the Rockets and NBA in order to help both groups preserve business relationships with the country.

The NBA later sent this statement:

“We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable. While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.”

It’s unclear whether this will be enough to satisfy those in China or whether the Rockets and NBA will have to do more to preserve relationships they value and have worked hard to build.

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Report: Rockets discussed firing Daryl Morey after Chinese backlash from Hong Kong tweet

Daryl Morey

The Houston Rockets have reportedly discussed firing Daryl Morey after receiving backlash from China over the general manager’s tweet about protests in Hong Kong.

Morey and the Rockets are in Tokyo for a two-game exhibition series against the Toronto Raptors in Saitama, Japan. On Friday night, Morey sent a tweet that included a graphic saying “fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta immediately distanced the team from the tweet.

Protests have been ongoing in Hong Kong over an extradition bill that has many in the area concerned about their political autonomy and influence from the Chinese government.

Morey’s next tweet was innocuous, but he was still ratio’d on Twitter — meaning he was met with negative response from angry people.

The NBA does big business in China, and the Rockets are a favorite team in the country thanks to the time Yao Ming spent with the organization.

The Chinese Basketball Association, several Chinese businesses, and Tencent Holdings — the NBA’s digital rights holder in China — have all denounced Morey’s comments and moved to suspend or sever ties with the Rockets.

The Ringer’s John Gonzalez reported on Sunday that the Rockets have discussed firing Morey in response to the backlash.

Fertitta even liked some comments on Instagram suggesting Morey be fired.

USA Today’s Sam Amick says talk of Morey’s job being in jeopardy is probably inaccurate.

Fertitta did support Morey in a statement given to ESPN.

“I have the best general manager in the league,” Fertitta said. “Everything is fine with Daryl and me. We got a huge backlash, and I wanted to make clear that the organization has no political position. We’re here to play basketball and not to offend anybody.”

Morey, 47, has been the Rockets’ general manager since 2007. He later issued a statement on Twitter.

“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,” Morey said.

Do you support Free Speech? Do you stand with Daryl Morey? Get the shirt that says so below!

Rockets GM: It’s ‘fact’ that James Harden is better scorer than Michael Jordan

James Harden

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is known for having controversial opinions and making bold statements, and he is going to stir things up with his latest comments.

Morey joined “Selfmade with Nadeshot” for an interview. They talked about several subjects, including James Harden. Morey has long been a huge proponent of Harden and even says that the data shows Harden is a better scorer than Michael Jordan.

“It’s just factual that James Harden is a better scorer than Michael Jordan,” Morey said. “You give James Harden the ball, and before you’re giving up the ball, how many points do you generate? Which is how you should measure offense, James Harden is by far No. 1 in NBA history. And he was No. 1 even with the Oklahoma City Thunder, it was just a little more hidden. So you needed good data to suss that out. So we knew he had that amazing skill to be a scorer.

“Now the counter argument is reasonable. They say if you put Michael Jordan on a team now, he would do more than James Harden. That’s possible. But if you’re just saying, NBA history, if you give this guy the ball, how much does this guy score before the other team gets the ball? It’s James Harden.”

The funny thing about numbers is: if you know how to use them, you can make almost any argument you want. Morey is choosing a specific metric for how he measures scoring, and that one indicates Harden is the best. Does that mean Harden is a better or more complete player than MJ? No, but for that particular stat, Harden stands above all others.

As smart as Morey seems to be, even he admits he didn’t think Harden would become as good as he did.

Report: Rockets GM has permission to spend into luxury tax

Daryl Morey

The Houston Rockets look ready to gear up for another run at the Golden State Warriors and the rest of the Western Conference next season.

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Rockets ownership has given general manager Daryl Morey freedom to spend into the luxury tax next season, which they avoided this past season.

That would likely involve the Rockets using their $5.7 million mid-level exception, pending other roster moves.

Owner Tilman Fertitta more or less promised that the Rockets would continue to aggressively try to surpass the Warriors. Spending whatever money the team is allowed is something that they simply may have to do in order to continue their pursuit of that goal, and it sounds like Fertitta is ready to put his money where his mouth is.

Rockets GM trolls Steve Kerr over ‘disappointing’ officiating talk

Steve Kerr

The battle between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets is becoming quite active off the court, too.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr spoke to the media Monday and decried the “disappointing” focus on officiating that he blamed on the Houston side, considering it a distraction from the talent on the floor. Not long after that, Rockets GM Daryl Morey took to Twitter and shared an article from November of 2016 reporting that Kerr had been fined for repeated criticisms of officials.

In other words, Morey is accusing Kerr of hypocrisy in trying to tamp down on officiating talk now after the Rockets raised the issue after Game 1. Like it or not, this is going to be a subplot for the rest of the series, and both teams will undoubtedly feel wronged by the officiating at some point. Judging from the NBA’s L2M report, the Rockets are the ones who have a point this time.

Rockets GM offers to sign Ray Allen to 10-day contract

Ray Allen

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is definitely exploring every possible avenue for improvement.

10-time All-Star sharpshooter Ray Allen participated in Friday’s All-Star Celebrity Game and stole the show with 24 points, including a number of baskets from beyond the specially-made four-point line. The vintage outing was enough for Bleacher Report to call for Allen to receive a 10-day contract.

Morey responded to the tweet by simply saying “We are in if he is in.”

Allen last played for the Miami Heat in the 2013-14 season and is now 43, which would make him the oldest player in the league if he were indeed to come out of retirement. That being said, he remains the NBA’s all-time three-point king and proved on Friday that he hasn’t lost his stroke one bit.

Morey’s proposition is still probably a longshot at best though, especially since Allen was already inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September. But the Rockets actually came close to signing Allen a few years ago, so it might not hurt to shoot their shot again.

Rockets GM thinks James Harden averaging 40 points per game is possible

James harden

James Harden has been on an absolute tear lately, and it’s one his GM thinks he can keep up.

Harden entered Saturday averaging a career-best 33.6 points per game. He had a 50-point game and 47-point effort last month, and he’s scored over 40 points per game in five straight contests.

Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey doesn’t see why Harden couldn’t keep up the pace.

Harden still has a lot of work to get to Wilt Chamberlain territory, but Michael Jordan’s 37.09 points per game in 1986-87 seems like a mark that might be attainable.

The hot streak has all coincided with winning. Houston has won six in a row and 11 of their last 12, including a great win over Golden State. Even without Chris Paul, they’re looking like one of the top teams in the league again.