Why Rockets GM Daryl Morey claims he has let James Harden down
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey knows all too well how his team has fallen short of its desired goal of an NBA title James Harden, a former MVP and the league’s reigning leading scorer has yet to reach the NBA Finals in a Rockets uniform after last being at that stage in his third and final season with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Harden is often criticized for his style of play, with no imposing image to come to the rescue.
Transcript via HoopsHype:
“I don’t think the media is super fair of him. But you know, people say that all the time,” Morey said on Anthony Pompliano’s Pomp podcast. “So you can take that for what it is, but I really don’t. And but I think part of it is he he has a tight circle of people that that he trusts and with those people who he knows have his best interests at heart and he’s had a history with them, he’s very gregarious, very open, very smart. Like just this great guy. And with everyone else, he’s not the opposite. He’s just reserved.”
While his reserved personality has done Harden no favors as an MVP candidate — now behind LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the race for this year’s award — his performance on the court has helped keep the Rockets in contention, but not quite to the dominant level from a few years ago.
Morey praised Harden’s basketball IQ and his work ethic, but took responsibility for not surrounding the league’s best scorer with better weapons to nab a championship:
“He’s not someone who is going to be a big media guy or things like that. So, I think that hurts him a little bit, but I can I can tell you privately he’s like a basketball genius,” said Morey. “He’s a great quality human being. We’ve worked together for eight or nine years now and I couldn’t have a better partner to try and win a title with and in fact, most days I wake up saying, I’ve let them down because I haven’t gotten him got him the right players to win a title.”
Morey has been excellent as far as getting the Rockets below the tax line in consecutive seasons, but soon enough he will be judged on how well he can arm the club with the necessary talent to make a deep run before their championship window closes. While the general manager has made bold moves in recent years to bolster the talent next to Harden, Houston has still consistently fallen short.
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