Daryl Morey pens heartfelt tribute to Houston Rockets fans, says James Harden ‘changed my life’

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Departing Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey offered his thanks to fans in a full-page ad on Sunday.

He also paid tribute to Rockets star James Harden, emphatically writing that the guard “changed my life.”

“I can’t believe I won’t be able to have another strategy session with James,” Morey wrote. “I loved working together on how to get his incredible Hall of Fame teammates Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook to the Rockets. I will be rooting for James to win a championship in Houston. It’s how this story should end.”

The tribute by Morey to Harden was an acknowledgment of the performance delivered by the veteran guard, who was acquired in 2012 from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Over the course of the next eight seasons, Harden developed into one of the greatest players in the game. During that stretch, he won the league MVP award in the 2017-18 season and has led the league in scoring in each of the last three seasons.

Yet, despite Morey’s best efforts, the Rockets were never able to get beyond the Western Conference Finals.

Morey’s resignation also concluded what’s been a tumultuous past 12 months for the analytics guru, who was at the center of an international controversy last October.

That furor developed after Morey tweeted out support for protesters in Hong Kong, which enraged the Chinese government and put the NBA’s highly lucrative relationship with the country in peril.

Morey concluded his ad by thanking the Rockets faithful one more time.

“Your support has kept me energized and inspired. You have been the driving force to our success,” he wrote. “I am honored to have been a part of your story.”

Morey will likely be hired by another team in the near future, though he’ll remain with the Rockets until Nov. 1, advising the Rockets on the choice of a new head coach. That next choice will replace former head coach Mike D’Antoni, who resigned last month.

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Brad has written on a variety of both NBA and NFL topics and has worked previously as a sports information director at the collegiate level. A lifetime fan of sports, he's witnessed countless great moments in different sports and understands that stories can be compelling from both the perspective of winners and losers. As a frustrated fan of Cleveland sports, he experienced something unprecedented when the Cavaliers won the city's first championship in 52 years.