Image for post
Image for post
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Morbidthoughts

Thank You, Daryl Morey

Sending the Rockets’ GM off with some appreciation

Shawn Laib
Oct 16, 2020 · 4 min read

Thank you, Daryl Morey.

Thank you for showing the basketball world that the key to the modern NBA is most-definitely three point shooting (Steph Curry also helped in this quite a bit, but we’re not here to thank him). Although you went a bit overboard sometimes, you showed other executives that guards and wings are the key to a championship base, and that perimeter play is the default for the game of basketball in 2020. You proved that three point shooting is not a fad, but the norm. Although you probably did need to encourage the mid-range shot a little more, we’ll forgive you. Nobody is perfect.

Thank you, Daryl Morey.

Thank you for being the only GM who wasn’t afraid to build a roster that could go head-to-head with the most dominant team in NBA history, the Kevin Durant/Steph Curry-led Golden State Warriors. While others tried to wait out the relevance of the Dubs, you always tried to find a way to stay in the season. Your fortitude was the reason why the 2018 Houston Rockets came infinitely closer than any other opponent to dethroning the dynasty. Closer than LeBron James could ever conceive of, and more authentically than the Toronto Raptors of 2019, who won through a rash of injuries to Durant and Klay Thompson.

Thank you, Daryl Morey.

Thank you for taking James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder and effectively marking the beginning of the end for their potential dynasty. As a teenaged Seattle SuperSonics fan at the time, I know I really appreciated that trade. I know the rest of Seattle did too. Nobody wanted to see the Thunder take our team and then win with it just a few seasons later. You saved a lot of heartbreak for the Pacific Northwest, and you never get enough credit for the trade in general around NBA circles. They criticize Sam Presti for getting fleeced, but never acknowledge who did the fleecing. A trade well-done.

Thank you, Daryl Morey.

Thank you for bringing some humor to the NBA when it was much needed. Thank you for creating one of my favorite memes, which shows a list of you congratulating the Golden State Warriors on defeating your team in the playoffs year after year for the last half-decade. Being a good sport is not always easy in pro sports, and you never failed to shake hands and try again the next season, even at the expense of some laughs. Thank you for sending a report in to the NBA front offices to claim that your team was on the short end of the officiating stick nearly 100 times during the 2018 Western Conference Finals. This may not have produced any good will from the referees in the future, but it did demonstrate how human NBA executives can be.

Thank you, Daryl Morey.

Thank you for standing up for what was right at the beginning of last season. You called out the Chinese government for their inhumane and corrupt policies, even in the face of the entire basketball community trying to silence you. Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, and LeBron James, all powerful and usually-outspoken voices on social justice, didn’t have the courage to speak out on your behalf. You took the abuse and the undermining comments from your franchise owner, Tilman Fertitta, and still did your job to best of your ability. You did your job under fire for an entire year, never forgiven for just standing up for the right thing.

Thank you, Daryl Morey.

Thank you for bringing Mike D’Antoni back to the bench, one of the offensive revolutionaries of the 2000’s with the Phoenix Suns. Thank you for trying to experiment with a center-less lineup. Thank you for making the most interesting trades of the offseason almost annually, bringing in Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, and believing that PJ Tucker could be the biggest guy on the floor. He usually is in heart, much more important than stature. You probably had too much roster upheaval throughout your tenure, but your team was certainly never standing pat.

Thank you, Daryl Morey.

Thank you for proving that you don’t need to be a professional athlete to provide stability to a professional franchise. Nerds can know about sports, too. A love of the game and a solid intellect can go a long way, and I’d love to see you managing a team in another sport, perhaps in the same town with the Texans. Wherever you go, you will be successful. That’s what smart and interesting people do. They succeed. You never got a championship with the Rockets, but it proves how important you were that it felt like the death knell to their title chances with your resignation. Houston should thank you. Even though I never rooted for the Rockets, I’ll do the same.

Thank you, Daryl Morey.

SportsRaid

Original reporting and curated sports data journalism.

Sign up for SportsRaid

By SportsRaid

Sports Data Journalism Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Shawn Laib

Written by

University of Washington Class of 2020 in English Literature and fan of video games and basketball. Twitter: @LaibShawn

SportsRaid

Original reporting and curated sports data journalism. Actively looking for additional writers.

Shawn Laib

Written by

University of Washington Class of 2020 in English Literature and fan of video games and basketball. Twitter: @LaibShawn

SportsRaid

Original reporting and curated sports data journalism. Actively looking for additional writers.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store