Nets star James Harden and former Rockets’ General Manager Daryl Morey helped usher in a new era in Houston. Together the Rockets had many deep playoff runs including two trips to the Western Conference Finals during their tenure together, although they never did capture a championship.
Now in his new role as 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey is hoping his new star player Joel Embiid can lead him to a championship as he details in a new interview with Sports Illustrated’s Howard Beck.
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Daryl Morey Slights James Harden
“I get in trouble when I say stuff like this,” Morey said to Beck via Sixers Wire
“He’s the most unstoppable thing I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot. You know who I’ve seen,” he says, alluding to former Rockets’ star James Harden. “But I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Morey was the General Manager for the Houston Rockets from 2007 to 2020 and was part of the team that brought James Harden to Houston. When he stepped down from his position with the Rockets, he took out a full-page ad in the Houston Chronicle where he thanked the organization for his time there. More notably, giving praise to Harden and his talent.
“An entire page could be dedicated just to James”, he wrote via ESPN.
“He not only transformed my life but also revolutionized the game of basketball — and continues to do so — like almost no one has before. The game is played differently because of James, and on every playground in the world, the next generation of talent is studying and imitating his game…”
“I can’t believe I won’t be able to have another strategy session with James,” Morey continued.
“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.”
Joel Embiid Is Having an MVP Season
Joel Embiid on the other hand has received criticism from all directions during his career. Many felt as if he was not taking his role on the 76ers seriously prior to Morey’s arrival. Most notably, Inside the NBA host Charles Barkley after the 76ers had a rather disappointing exit to the NBA Bubble. The Hall of Famer said it was time for the 76ers star to “grow up.”
This year Embiid has taken everything said about him and made a quick 180-degree turn. Currently, he is averaging a career-high 30 points, along with 11.6 rebounds per game. Philadelphia sits at the number one seed in the Eastern Conference and third in the entire Association.
Morey is not the only person in the basketball world with high acclamations for the 4-time all-star. Hall of Famer and superstar center Shaquille O’Neal had some words to say about Embiid in an interview on The John Kincade Show on 97.5 The Fanatic.
“He’s playing up to his size,” Shaq said via Yahoo.
“He’s playing with a lot more enthusiasm and he’s getting the numbers that it takes to be a big man in the MVP category. Any big man can get 20 [points], any big man can get 23, but it takes a special big man to average over 28 and dominate the way he did.”
“The game he played the other day [against the Bulls] had me in tears,” Shaq continued.
“I haven’t seen a big man play that way in a long time. I haven’t seen a big man in the MVP conversation in a long time.”
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The Sixers and Nets are first and second place in the Eastern Conference respectively. The two teams are expected to meet in this year’s Eastern Conference Finals. If that does pan out, Morey’s recent interview will only add fuel to an already explosive heavyweight bout.