Friday 30 October, 2020

Morey to step down as Houston Rockets GM

This is a July 26, 2019, file photo showing Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey during an NBA basketball news conference in Houston.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File).

This is a July 26, 2019, file photo showing Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey during an NBA basketball news conference in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File).

Daryl Morey is to step down from his position as general manager of the Houston Rockets.

After 14 years with the franchise, the Rockets confirmed that Morey's departure will be effective from November 1.

He will continue to offer assistance to owner Tilman Fertitta in the search for a head coach to replace Mike D'Antoni, who left after Houston lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals.

The Rockets will promote executive vice-president of basketball operations Rafael Stone to general manager, with Eli Witus working under him.

"After returning from Orlando and reflecting on what has been an amazing 14 years with the Houston Rockets, and after discussing my thoughts with family and close friends, I've decided I'll be stepping away from the Rockets organisation effective November 1st," said Morey in a statement.

"Tilman and I have had many conversations since I returned, and his unwavering support and counsel during our time together has been critical to our success.

"It has been the most gratifying experience of my professional life to lead the Rockets basketball organisation, and I look forward to working with Tilman and the management team on the transition.

"I am very confident that the future – for the Rockets, and for our incredible fans – is in great hands, and that the Rockets will continue to perform at the highest level."

Fertitta added: "On behalf of the entire Rockets organisation, I would like to thank Daryl Morey for his hard work and dedication over the past 14 seasons. Daryl is a brilliant innovator who helped the Rockets become a perennial contender.

"I have truly enjoyed working with Daryl and couldn't have asked for a better general manager to have at the start of my ownership. I wish him and his family all the best."

Houston have reached the playoffs in each of the past eight seasons – the longest active streak in the NBA.

In 2017-18 their 65-17 record was the best in the league, but they were beaten in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals by the Golden State Warriors that season.

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