After 13 seasons as the general manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey is stepping down from his role. Reportedly, Morey approached Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta with the idea of stepping down. Both sides came to an agreement for Morey to step down.
Daryl Morey out as Houston Rockets GM
Morey spent 13 seasons running basketball operations for the Rockets, before his decision to step down. Adrian Wojnarowski, Senior NBA Insider for ESPN, broke the news on Thursday afternoon.
ESPN Sources: Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is stepping down. https://t.co/NTmplVtWcl
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 15, 2020
The news comes on the heels of a rocky end to the 2020 campaign. Houston lost in five games in the Western Conference Semifinals to the eventual champions Los Angeles Lakers. Shortly after this playoff exit, head coach Mike D’Antoni opted not to renew his tender with the franchise. D’Antoni will look for coaching opportunities with another NBA franchise.
According to Wojnarowski and other sources, Morey is considering other options professionally while also wishing to spend more time with his two college-age children.
The 2017-18 NBA Executive of the Year will remain in an advisory role while Houston searches for a new head coach. Sources also confirmed that the Rockets intend to promote Rafael Stone, executive vice president of basketball operations, to general manager.
Houston is also promoting Eli Witus to assistant general manager, sources said.
During Morey’s 13 seasons in Houston, the Rockets own the league’s longest consecutive playoff appearance streak in eight-straight years. Houston went 640-400 during this span, a .615 winning percentage.
Morey’s career in Houston was not absent of drama. In October of 2019, Morey tweeted in support of freedom for Chinese citizens amidst controversial protests surrounding Chinese authoritarianism in Hong Kong. As a result, China pulled the NBA off its airwaves, suspending sponsorship agreements with the NBA. It’s estimated the league lost $400 million in revenue from this situation.
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