Daryl Morey assembled a cult of personality among hoopsheads and NBA front office staff by introducing the unconventional to a staid and neutral system of basketball management. Zig when others are zagging, right?
This small update will come as no surprise to Rockets fans. While all eyes are glued on the 65 team melee of March Madness, Daryl Morey is overseas taking in international basketball games.
Morey appears to have been overseas for a week in Istanbul during the latest round of Euroleague games. Euroleague runs from October to May in a tournament format pitting Europe's best teams against one another. And before you ask, yes Vassilis Spanoulis is involved. He was October's player of the month.
For Morey it makes sense. The NCAA tournament is ubiquitous. Morey won't miss a minute of play he wants to watch. Visiting players and teams overseas can help close the information gap that exists between NBA front offices and international players.
IMHO: The biggest fault NBA teams commit when drafting international players is not knowing who they are off the court. One of the biggest differences between Andrea Bargnani and Dirk Nowitzki, aside from their play, is the clear dedication Nowitzki has to the game, his conditioning and becoming a better player.
Even in 2015 agents can hide international players showing only the highlight reels and on court heroics they want scouts and front offices to know. Here's a great example: Jan Vesely was once called "The Czech Vince Carter."
I'd eat my hat if Morey isn't meeting with players, coaches and scouts in an attempt to find the Luis Scola or Donatas Motiejunas. Not all-stars, but serious NBA contributors. It's the type of edge Morey uses to find the next bench player, trade chip or second round draft pick.
The Rockets also own the rights to several players in the tournament: Sergio Llull of Spain, Marko Todorovic of Montenegro, Brad Newley of Australia and Jon Diebler from Ohio State University.
Here's some Tweets:
Real Madrid vs Sevilla. @23Llull + prospects pic.twitter.com/bAmV67a552— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) March 15, 2015
Checking out Bilbao vs Gran Canaria. Marko Todorovic & @BradNewley squaring off pic.twitter.com/TeYCWnHlN5— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) March 15, 2015
Karsiyaka vs Gaziantep, all-time @ohiostate 3pt king&Rockets rights @jondiebler here. OSU needs 3-magic 2day vs Ariz pic.twitter.com/RVmMh5g6p0— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) March 21, 2015