I may not be Russell Westbrook’s biggest fan, but that guy deserved the MVP award. As a Rockets fan, I would’ve loved to see someone from the city of Houston make that acceptance speech (that Westbrook wrote when Durant signed with Golden State) on Monday night and be added to a list of legends. However, Harden not winning the Most Valuable Player award says a lot more about the all-around strength and skill-set of the Houston Rockets team than it does about the discrepancy in numbers between Harden and Westbrook. This team that I speak of, was developed by a man who goes by the name of Daryl Morey, the best executive in basketball. So while maybe Harden deserved MVP over Westbrook because of the overall success of his team, he was not the biggest Houston snub at the NBA Awards…by far.
In the 2015-2016 season, the Rockets were still led by James Harden, had arguably a better center in Dwight Howard, Patrick Beverly was a defensive presence to be reckoned with and Trevor Ariza and Jason Terry were two of many solid role players. Those Rockets, at 41-41, finished in the 8th seed in the West and saw an early first round exit. This is where the term, “In Morey We Trust” became a reality. Dwight left Houston, but Morey had all the faith in Clint Capela. He went out and signed Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon to four-year deals, something that many other executives and analysts grimaced at due to the injury history between the two. He then brought in Mike D’Antoni, a storied head coach whose last run with the 2014 Lakers ended in a 27-55 season and a jobless summer.
Despite all of these moves, many people in and around the NBA still had the Rockets finishing around .500 with the 6th seed as their potential “ceiling”. Daryl Morey wanted to turn the Rockets into an offensive, three-point shooting juggernaut. Morey put this team into the hands of Mike D’Antoni, whose similar offensive mindset allowed this team to thrive in the way that they did. Many people said that James Harden wasn’t good enough to lead a team, especially as a newfound point guard. Clint Capela wasn’t a real center and Nene was too old to thrive in this league anymore. Nevertheless, it was Capela’s foul trouble during Nene’s playoff injury that in my opinion, hurt the Rockets’ chances more than anything. The idea of Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson avoiding any long-term injuries throughout the season baffled everyone, except for this Houston Rockets front office.
The Rockets went on to play “Morey-Ball” throughout the entirety of the season. James Harden, Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, Trevor Ariza and Lou Williams (oh yeah, Morey brought him in too) all finished in the top 25 in total three pointers made this year. Houston ran away with the single-season NBA 3-point record and finished 3rd in the West with a 55-27 record. May I remind you that despite all the so-called “questionable” moves that Daryl Morey made this past offseason, the Rockets were referred to as a potential lottery team by many analysts around the NBA. Although they didn’t win a championship, Morey and the Rockets defied all odds.
Somehow, someway, the Warriors Bob Myers won executive of the year. Yes, this year. I am all for this guy being referred to as a great GM. He drafted the core of his team and essentially the core of the Western Conference All-Stars in Steph, Klay and Draymond, but can someone please explain to me how this guy deserves the 2017 Executive of the Year Award. I’m sorry. Were the Warriors not slotted to finish with the best record in the league and eventually win the championship before they signed Kevin Durant? Oh, that’s right. They were. Even if in some crazy world the Warriors were a projected lottery team and then Kevin Durant appeared and magically changed all odds, the guy still doesn’t deserve the award over Morey. Do you really think Kevin Durant sat down with his family and said, “Well you know guys, this Bob Myers guy made me a pretty compelling offer and I like the way he describes how successful this team can potentially be if I tag along for the ride next year.” HELL NO. He just remembered how fun it was to play with Steph, Klay and Draymond in the All-Star Game last year and realized that they probably will be able to win a ring with two MVPs, one DPOY and three of the best shooters in the league. Bob Myers reminds me of the below-average kid in an AP class who is part of a group project, does absolutely nothing towards the end of it and still gets an A.
Again, I have all the respect in the world for Bob Myers. If you don’t believe me after reading that last paragraph…well its probably warranted. He deserved it in 2015. Heck, if he won it last year I probably wouldn’t have complained either, but Daryl Morey turned a .500 team with one superstar and a bunch of role players into a top contender in a league that is run by All-NBA filled super teams. However, my guess is that he don’t need no stinkin’ award. I imagine its relatively hard to care about a piece of hardware when you’re trying to sign Chris Paul. When it comes to Daryl Morey, as a Rockets fan-you should be grateful for him and as a basketball fan-you should respect the hell out of him. These Rockets will be back. Trust me and trust Morey.