Western Notes: Thunder, Rockets, Morey, Doncic, LeBron

Over half of the NBA’s teams are either currently hosting fans at their home games or have announced plans to do so soon. However, the Thunder won’t be joining that list. The team sent out an email to season ticket holders confirming that fans won’t be allowed to attend games at Chesapeake Energy Arena for the rest of the season, as Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman tweets.

The decision was based on several factors,” the Thunder said in their email, according to Mussatto (Twitter link). “The ultimate one being that the overall health and safety of our fans and our community is the most important thing to us.”

Let’s round up a few more items from around the Western Conference…

  • Multiple sources within the Rockets organization believe that former general manager Daryl Morey decided to leave the team last fall in part because he expected James Harden would want out, reports Tim MacMahon of ESPN. According to MacMahon’s sources, Morey had expressed reservations last summer about his ability to “keep James happy” without the assets necessary to keep upgrading the roster.
  • Mavericks guard Luka Doncic has been downgraded to doubtful for Wednesday night’s game vs. Oklahoma City, but a source tells ESPN’s Tim MacMahon that Doncic is still expected to play in this weekend’s All-Star Game even if he sits out tonight. Doncic is also tentatively on track to participate in the Skills Challenge.
  • Lakers star LeBron James, who ranks fourth in the NBA this season in total minutes played, will sit out the second half of the team’s back-to-back set on Wednesday, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, James will receive treatment on his left ankle, but like Doncic, he expects to play in Sunday’s All-Star Game.
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10 thoughts on “Western Notes: Thunder, Rockets, Morey, Doncic, LeBron

  1. CamFrost

    James Harden and Daryl Morey really did great things during their Rockets tenure on and off the court. But Morey deserves just as much blame than Harden. When you allow someone to have everything they want, they are obviously going to continue to demand more. Morey did whatever James wanted. Then Morey, just like Harden eventually did, dipped when he felt it’d be too hard. Leaving this team in shambles for others to pick up. Luckily for them, they found themselves in positive situations. Good for them.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Well, I won’t argue that Harden was mismanaged, assuming the stories about him being high maintenance are true.

      However, this business about Morey needs to be treated with a high degree of skepticism: Fertitta controls the organization now, and everyone knows what he expects. Leaking a negative story about Morey seems like something the boss would like to see.

      • CamFrost

        Oh, trust me, I am by no means a Fertitta fan. I definitely think that his presence helped Morey out the door. But Morey left right when he felt he couldn’t take on the challenge of the post-Harden era. He shouldn’t have caved to Harden for Westbrook. That wasn’t a Morey move. That was just folding to JH. I hated it. I understood, but wish he didn’t do it.

    • PiratesFan1981

      The whole city of Houston sporting networks is a dumpster fire. Texans, Astros, and Rockets are all in some sort of drama. Houston should be renamed “City of Delinquents”

  2. buttholesurfer69

    I’d be more surprised if sources said Morey *didn’t* leave because he thought Harden was going to want out.

    It clearly wasn’t because he wanted to spend more time with his kids.

  3. ghostrobot

    All star game?! Why?! We are in the middle of a pandemic and games are being canceled still! I can’t wait for the tv ratings, if the super bowl bombed this bee ell emm fest is gonna crater.

    • El Don

      What pandemic are you talkin’ about?
      Have I missed somethin’?

  4. Jason Lancaster

    Let me guess – the “multiple sources” in Houston are Ferttita, Ferttita’s wife, Fertitta’s masseuse, Fertitta’s official biographer, and Fertitta’s personal portraitist?

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