Daryl Morey is to blame for the Rockets coaching problem.
This is a three part series delivering "hot takes" and putting several key members of the Houston Rockets organization "on blast" for stumbling through the process of finding a new head coach.
Dork Elvis has ushered the NBA into a data-centric age of three pointers, layups and possession valuation. He's produced overachieving regular season squads who wrote made for TV movie scripts and built a Western Conference finals contender after acquiring two legitimate NBA superstars.
In just under a decade as general manager the Rockets have posted only a single losing season. Rocket fans are lucky Morey has put a successful product on the court each year while redefining the contours of roster construction.
But the theme driving Morey's past success now fuels a fourteen candidate quagmire... Morey wants total control over the roster and how the team plays.
Morey's theories, goals and roster construction mean any Houston Rockets head coach needs to abandon their autonomy to play Moreyball:
- Value three pointers and easy two point baskets. Abandon mid-range jumpers. Adopt the Moreyball shot valuation.
- Developing young talent is as important as preparing the team for each upcoming game.
- Be prepared to shuffle parts of your roster to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on a regular basis.
- Your roster will be filled with single dimensional role players.
- Expect little to no say in personnel decisions and draft picks.
While Tom Thibodeau, Stan Van Gundy and Doc Rivers have total control of the bench and front office the next Houston Rockets head coach, regardless of experience, should anticipate the antithesis.
"I think it's going to be someone who embodies what we need. We need to get our defense stronger," Morey said. "I don't get too caught up into this coach is this style, that coach is that style. I think a lot of teams make mistakes in those instances. They go opposite. They add somebody quickly. We're not going to do something quickly. We're not going to do what people see as opposite." Houston Chronicle
Thibodeau, Frank Vogel, Jeff Hornacek, Scott Brooks, Luke Walton and Dave Joerger all cruised passed the Houston Rockets' open coaching position in search of more autonomy than a coach will ever wield on a sideline while Morey watches from a box.
Morey promised early on the Rockets will take their time "to get the coach search right." True to his word, the team is taking its time. But Morey's history and heavy-handed style should leave Rockets fans asking if 'getting it right' means hiring the best available coach or the best available coach who will follow Morey's instructions on play style, rotations and intentionally fouling five times with K.J. McDaniels to start a third quarter.
This is a three part series delivering "hot takes" and putting several key members of the Houston Rockets organization "on blast" for stumbling through the process of finding a new head coach. For the last decade the Houston Rockets have built a sterling reputation as a franchise who makes results-oriented decisions while revolutionizing shot value and NBA front office machinations. In the past month, that reputation has begun to fracture.
The month-long fourteen candidate search for a new head coach has painted a clear public divide between owner Les Alexander, general manager Daryl Morey and all-star guard James Harden. Current attempts to hire both a head coach and an associate head coach, independent of each other, mean the trio is trying to compromise. But the fact the Rockets don't have a head coach already guarantees one thing... at the end of the day, someone is going to be unhappy.