Rockets Coaching Candidates Knew Of Morey’s Decision

While Daryl Morey’s decision to step down as the Rockets’ GM surfaced this week, he said that coaching candidates were notified during the interviewing process that he was departing, Kelly Iko and Sam Amick of The Athletic report.

Morey made up his mind nearly a month ago, a day after the team was eliminated from the Western Conference playoffs. Family considerations were the main reason why he chose to leave at this time.

“I mean he just said, ‘You know, I’m kind of just struggling and don’t know what I want to do,’” owner Tilman Fertitta said. “To tell y’all, when we signed Daryl’s last extension, Daryl told me, ‘You know, I’m not going to always be here (and) when my last son graduates (I might leave).'”

Head coach Mike D’Antoni decided he didn’t want to remain in the organization on the plane ride home and Morey said all of D’Antoni’s potential replacements were told that he was headed out, as well.

“We’ve been up front with all the candidates that this was coming and they’ve been respectful to not have it get out early,” said Morey, who added that D’Antoni’s parting did not impact his decision. “It’s been baked in.”

The Athletic duo, though, said that it hasn’t been quite that transparent. At least two of those candidates were uncertain why Rafael Stone, the executive VP of basketball operations who is replacing Morey as GM, was leading the interviewing process. They were not directly told Morey was going to step down.

Morey had essentially been operating as a consultant the past few weeks, The Athletic confirmed.

Houston has interviewed Jeff Van Gundy, Ty Lue, Kenny Atkinson, Stephen Silas, David Vanterpool, Wes Unseld Jr., and John Lucas for the vacant coaching job. Lue has agreed to coach the Clippers, while Van Gundy, Silas and Lucas appear to be the top remaining candidates for the Rockets.

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10 thoughts on “Rockets Coaching Candidates Knew Of Morey’s Decision

  1. Jason Lancaster

    Funny how both the coach and the GM decided to quit the day after the Rockets lost.

    Could it be that the owner made it clear they weren’t needed? Or that he wasn’t going to be “mr nice guy” anymore?


    • x%sure

      On that day the owner probably wishes he could quit as easily as the GM & HC.

      BTW they’re being called governors now. I don’t care for either name, owner or governor… “franchisee” is most accurate.

      • Jason Lancaster

        I say, govn’r, why do we have to give you a formal title? :)

  2. mike.honcho

    If Morey wants to go back East, there’s more than a few inept teams which can use his services now.

    Or if the SIXERS somehow flame-out within the next few seasons ……… who knows.

    Elton Brand has always give me the Vlade-vibe when it comes to his front office work.

  3. jump shot

    Fired… quit…
    There is absolutely nobody that reads and comments on this site who didn’t have the thought of this ultimately being the endgame to that China fiasco at the beginning of the season.

  4. The Howler

    He has one adult daughter and is married. Does he have dogs he wants to spend time with?

    • Luke Adams

      From ESPN’s report on his exit: “Morey also saw an opportunity to spend time with his two college-age children, who are each taking a gap year academically during the coronavirus pandemic.”

  5. hoosierhysteria

    This owner came in like a bull in the China shop. So far, big hat no cattle. Not sure top talent will want to work for him. Van Gundy still lives in Houston. He will suck up to the new boss. Can that roster win in playoffs?

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    This owner made it big thru hard work. I can’t imagine he’s too happy with Harden. Traded away Capela for cap issues. Means he’s not supporting team. Cause with Capela they had much better chance against LA. I’m sure he also knows he can’t trade Harden. JVG might be the safest choice. So that tells a lot about this team. If they don’t move Westbrook now. They are going nowhere.

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