The Houston Rockets are no longer the team we once knew. Just weeks after coach Mike D’Antoni departed, general manager Daryl Morey has resigned from the Rockets, and will be replaced by Rafael Stone.
The Rockets are planning to promote Executive VP of Basketball Operations Rafael Stone to general manager, sources said. Stone has played a significant part in the Rockets’ team building throughout his tenure with the organization. https://t.co/SmBlhaCIu8— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 15, 2020
James Harden may be the face of the franchise, and Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook may have earned All-Star selections while wearing red and black, but Morey and D’Antoni were the brains of an operation that was overtly trying to catch the Golden State Warriors.
Morey was known for his innovative ways — “Moreyball,” they called it — and made it clear that he would try any and all unique ways of roster building to try and take down Golden State.
Of course, he failed. Morey’s Rockets ran into the Warriors four times in Golden State’s five-year run atop the West, losing in the conference finals in 2015, the first round in 2016, the conference finals in 2018, and the semifinals in 2019. He always publicly praised the Warriors in defeat, though you could see how much it hurt him. And Warriors fans will never stop laughing at the time he and his analytics team tried to convince the league that they were the deserving champions after falling to the Warriors.
It feels like the end of a fight that the Warriors won. And it feels like the end of an era.
The Warriors are in a good position to compete again in the upcoming season, but it sure feels like a new era, with many of the familiar characters gone.