Southwest Notes: Rockets, Morey, Benson, Van Gundy

Former Rockets general manager Daryl Morey took out a full-page newspaper advertisement to thank the city of Houston, Rockets fans, James Harden, and more this past weekend.

Morey spent 14 years with the team and announced his plans to step down from the position last week. He was responsible for a number of major transactions during his time with the franchise — most notably in recent years — which includes acquiring All-Star Russell Westbrook and trading away Clint Capela.

“Thank you for an amazing 14 years. Your love, support and energy has meant the world to me,” Morey wrote. “My family and I came to Houston as yankees, nervous about how the city would welcome us and honored that [previous owner] Leslie Alexander had trusted me to help run a legendary franchise. I came into an organization with Hall of Fame players Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady already in place and a championship legacy built by Houston legends like Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.

“Walking into work on the first day was exciting, daunting and inspiring. Soon enough, the nervousness washed away and we came to feel like adopted Texans. What followed was the most amazing 14 years of my life.”

Morey dedicated the final part of his ad to Harden, who he credits for ‘changing his life’ during their time together in Houston.

“An entire page could be dedicated just to James,” 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 because of James, and on every playground in the world, the next generation of talent is studying and imitating his game.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division tonight:

  • Morey had a major impact on the NBA during his time with the Rockets, also causing some unintended consequences along the way, David Aldridge of The Athletic writes. Aldridge examines how Morey impacted players, teams and small-ball, particularly in his final years.
  • A man attempted to steal a car with Pelicans owner Gayle Benson sitting inside of it on October 10, as relayed by Ramon Antonio Vargas and Amie Just of Nola.com. The man aborted his plan after Benson screamed at him to leave the vehicle, fleeing the scene in a white Nissan Titan. “While she was very shaken at the time, she was unharmed and is doing fine,” Pelicans spokesman Greg Bensel said of Benson. “She wanted to send her sincere gratitude to the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department that responded so quickly and professionally.”
  • William Guillory of The Athletic ponders whether Stan Van Gundy could provide the structure and winning mentality the Pelicans crave. Van Gundy appears to be one of the finalists for New Orleans’ head coaching job, which was made vacant when the team fired Alvin Gentry in August.
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14 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Rockets, Morey, Benson, Van Gundy

  1. ChapmansVacuum

    How many championship games has supposed game changing Harden played in again? Emptiest stats ever!

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Same goes for Elgin Baylor, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, Reggie Miller, and Patrick Ewing. Right??

      • Chief Two Hands

        The excuse man emerges! At least he isn’t talking baseball on a basketball thread this time…

      • xxtremecubsguy89

        Harden has not played in 12 Finals games like Malone did. So once again, you’re wrong mvd.

  2. PutoBelga12

    “He not only transformed my life but also revolutionized the game of basketball — ***but only during the regular season*** — like almost no one has before.”

    As a playoff choker, I believe Harden has as much influence on youth as the And1 Mixtape players did in the early 2000s: all style but no substance.

  3. mike.honcho

    I like Morey. I can’t deny his role in the part that analytics has long played in the NBA, with his ROCKETS or the other teams.

    People forget that Lebron got better shots, better looks when he got to the HEAT …….. the 3-point revolution …….. load management.

    The bad thing about Morey, he completely stuck with it and didn’t adapt much, even if the signs were all there.

    It’s been said before, analytics is a tool. not a means to everything.

    Who knows, this time off for him might be the reset that his analytics-approach needs.

  4. El Don

    You can’t deny that Harden is one of the greatest legends of the game, I enjoy so much seeing him play, the guy is an absolute machine, the only shame is that he plays in HOU & they will never provide a championship opportunity for him, but the guy is a monster!

    • Chief Two Hands

      He had a great opportunity against the Warriors and absolutely failed without Paul. His style of play is “me” ball, and that is why he will never win a ring.

    • Harden is not one of the greatest legends in the game. He will not rank in the 10 ten. He will go down as a great shooter but nothing else. He will go down somewhere around where Reggie Miller is.

      • El Don

        Seriously you think Miller was like Harden? Miller was just a shooter, Harden is a total player, he scores, rebounds, steals, passes, blocks… nothin’ he can’t do, Miller as great a shooter he was, didn’t do anything else! Miller was more like Klay or Curry!

  5. x%sure

    Harden inventing scoring techniques is impressive. That fullpage statement of transformation seems a bit much.

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