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Daryl Morey says ‘James Harden changed my life’ in full-page newspaper ad after stepping down from Rockets GM

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It would be easy to forget, in light of what happened next and how glowing the praise has been since his resignation, that Daryl Morey once played a major role as the Houston Rockets’ general manager. When Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming were lost to injury, Morey was tasked with rebuilding the team to champion contenders without refueling for high pulling powers. It didn’t work for three seasons. The Rockets missed the 2010-2012 playoffs and made no major progress towards a high-level victory. Morey could do nothing but collect assets, but he could wait for the chance to use them.

That opportunity came in the off-season of 2012, when the Oklahoma City Thunder made James Harden available to trade. Houston attacked, and even without a championship, the results were overwhelmingly positive. The Rockets made it to the playoffs eight years in a row, winning seven postseason series and one victory shortly before the NBA Finals. Morey went from the hot seat to 2018 Executive of the Year, and should he decide to reenter the NBA world, he will be one of the most sought-after GM candidates on the market.

With his time as Houston’s GM now behind him, Morey took the time to thank the most important person behind his success there. In a full-page ad from the Houston Chronicle, Morey said simply: “James Harden changed my life.”

“A whole page can be devoted to James alone,” Morey wrote. “He not only transformed my life, but also revolutionized the game of basketball – and continues to do so – like almost no one has before. The game is played differently by James, and on every playground in the world, the next generation. of talent is to study and imitate his game. “

Finally, Morey confirmed that his deep loyalty will still be with Harden. “I will make sure James wins a championship in Houston,” he wrote. “This is how this story should end.”

When Harden arrived in Houston, he essentially became Morey’s on-court avatar, representing almost everything his former GM believes about the game of basketball. He never took mid-range jumpers, relying instead on 3-pointers, lay-ups and free throws, and while that may have led to some problems in the playoffs, it made him one of the most efficient scorers in NBA history.

In this sense, Morey and Harden both owe each other a large debt. Their partnership didn’t lead to a championship, but it led to just about everything else the two could have asked for. Harden is, in large part, an MVP thanks to Morey. The two will be linked forever in basketball history as aduo that changed the game.



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