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Daryl Morey

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Daryl Morey
Morey in 2008
Philadelphia 76ers
PositionPresident of basketball operations
Personal information
Born (1972-09-14) September 14, 1972 (age 51)
Baraboo, Wisconsin, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Career information
High schoolHighland (Medina, Ohio)
CollegeNorthwestern University
Career history
20072020Houston Rockets (general manager)
2020–presentPhiladelphia 76ers (president of basketball operations)
Career highlights and awards

Daryl Morey (born September 14, 1972) is an American basketball executive who is the president of basketball operations of the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His basketball philosophy, heavily reliant on analytics, favors three-point field goals and layups over mid-range jumpers. This style has been dubbed "Moreyball", as a nod towards Michael Lewis's Moneyball. Morey also co-established the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

During his tenure as general manager for the Houston Rockets from 2007 to 2020, the team posted the second-most wins in the NBA—behind only the San Antonio Spurs. Following the trade that brought James Harden to the Rockets, the team posted the third-best record, behind only the Spurs and the Golden State Warriors during Harden's tenure on the team.[1] Morey was named NBA Executive of the Year for the 2017–18 NBA season.

In 2019, Morey's Twitter post in support of the 2019–2020 Hong Kong protests resulted in suspension/termination of all mainland Chinese sponsors of the NBA and criticism of the NBA's handling of the controversy.[2][3] He resigned from the Rockets and joined the 76ers in 2020.

As of the end of the 2023-24 NBA regular season, Morey's "Wins over .500" record for his 17-year career ranks 5th among all executives in NBA history.[4]

Early life and education


Morey was born on September 14, 1972, in Baraboo, Wisconsin. He graduated from Highland High School near Medina, Ohio[5] before receiving a bachelor's degree in computer science with an emphasis on statistics from Northwestern University in 1996,[6] as well as an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.





Morey began his career in 1992 with STATS, Inc., a pioneer sports data firm where Bill James also worked. During his time there he was the first to adapt James' Pythagorean expectation to professional basketball. He found that using 13.91 for the exponents provided an acceptable model for predicting won-lost percentages:

Morey's "Modified Pythagorean Theorem" was first published in STATS Basketball Scoreboard, 1993–94.[7]



In 2000, Morey worked at EY-Parthenon, a leading strategy consulting firm, as a principal consultant with an emphasis on sports.



Morey is the co-chairperson for the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. He is also an avid Esports supporter, has attended MLG (Major League Gaming) events,[citation needed] and was part owner of Clutch Gaming, the Houston, Texas-based League of Legends Championship Series eSports team.[citation needed] Morey is also passionate about musical theater. He commissioned and produced the basketball themed musical Small Ball,[8] which opened in April 2018 at the Catastrophic Theater in Houston, Texas.[9] In addition, Morey is an avid chess player and has his own chess bot on the website Chess.com.[10]

Executive career


Boston Celtics


In 2002 Morey left EY-Parthenon to become senior vice president of operations for the Boston Celtics, with responsibility for setting ticket prices and developing analytical methods and technology to enhance basketball decisions related to the draft, trades, free agency, and advance scouting of opponents for the coaching staff.[11]

Houston Rockets


Then-Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander named Morey the team's assistant general manager on April 3, 2006. Morey succeeded Carroll Dawson as general manager on May 10, 2007, following the Moreyball trend of integrating advanced statistical analysis with traditional qualitative scouting and basic statistics.[12] Although several teams had previously hired executives with non-traditional basketball backgrounds, the Rockets were the first NBA team to hire such a general manager. In the fall of 2012, he and the Rockets acquired now-All-Star and 2017-18 league MVP James Harden via trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder. During Morey's tenure, the Rockets did not have a losing record and advanced to the playoffs 9 times, including to the Western Conference Finals in 2015 and 2018. He was also named the NBA Executive of the Year in 2018.

On October 15, 2020, the Rockets announced that Morey would step down as general manager on November 1, 2020.[13] He confirmed his departure in a full-page ad in the Houston Chronicle on October 18, 2020.[14] After Morey's departure, the Rockets would embark on a rebuild by trading away Russell Westbrook and James Harden.[15][16] Morey's resignation made Donnie Nelson of the Dallas Mavericks the longest-tenured general manager in the NBA, as Presti was hired in June 2007, a month after Morey became the Rockets' GM.

Philadelphia 76ers


On November 2, 2020, the Philadelphia 76ers named Morey as president of basketball operations.[17]

On March 22, 2021, Morey said "3-pointers should be worth 2.5 points" and the court should be widened to make corner 3-pointers longer.[18]



The Undoing Project


Author of Moneyball, Michael Lewis, chose Daryl Morey as the new nerd-hero at the center of his 2016 book, The Undoing Project. Whereas Moneyball highlighted the plight and success of Billy Beane as GM of the Oakland Athletics in 2003, The Undoing Project reveals Daryl Morey as the underdog king of basketball, making use of a similar analytical method to acquire undervalued talent as Beane did with the A's to produce a forceful team. Lewis uses Morey as a real-world example of one who has exemplified ideas introduced by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, two Israeli psychologists whose work pioneered the field of behavioral economics.[19][20] The psychologist duo defined a simple, two-part distinction of the way the brain makes decisions: System 1 and System 2. A more intuitive, subjective, fast, and efficient process, System 1 represents the brain's capacity to make split-second choices, often using personal experience to guide decision-making. System 2, however, characterizes a slower, more analytical process of reasoning to reach a conclusion. Michael Lewis points out in The Undoing Project how Daryl Morey observed basketball experts of the time making awfully subjective assessments in looking at basketball players. Shifting the Rockets' scouting strategy to look at hard data over simple observations, Morey implemented a more System-2-based approach to the team's hiring practices. This strategy is thought to be critically linked to the Houston Rockets' recent success.[20]

Twitter comments on Hong Kong


On October 4, 2019, Morey tweeted in support of the 2019–2020 Hong Kong protests, drawing criticism from Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, who said that while Morey was the best general manager in the NBA, the Rockets were not a political organization.[21][22][23] The tweet was Morey's first public expression of political views.[24]: 178  Morey later deleted the tweet.[22][23][25] In mainland China, where the Rockets have an extensive relationship after the selection of Yao Ming in 2002,[26][21] Morey's tweet resulted in the Chinese Basketball Association's suspension of its relationship with the Rockets and the issuance of a statement of dissatisfaction from the consular office of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Houston.[26][27][22] All Houston Rockets-related items were removed from the Tmall and JD.com sites and the team's games were removed from broadcasting on Tencent.[28] The Associated Press said that the reactions underscored Beijing's sensitivity about foreign attitudes toward the protests.[26]

At the time of the tweet, Morey and the Rockets were in Tokyo for the NBA's Japan Games. He remained isolated in his room at the hotel and only engaged with Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri upon the fallout. According to Ujiri, Morey said that the timing of his tweet was in response to a new law in Hong Kong prohibiting protesters from wearing masks and that himself and his friends had discussed political autonomy in Hong Kong since attending MIT Sloan.[29]

A few days later, Morey and the NBA each issued a separate statement addressing the original tweet, with Morey saying that he never intended his tweet to cause any offense and the NBA saying that it was regrettable.[26] The statements were criticized by US politicians and third-party observers for the perceived exercise of economic statecraft by the PRC and insufficiency of the NBA's defense of Morey's tweet.[30] A bipartisan letter by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ted Cruz, and six other lawmakers fiercely criticized the NBA's handling of the controversy. The lawmakers wrote that the NBA's response not only "sold out an American citizen" but also "reinforces the Chinese Communist Party view that those who point to Chinese repression in Hong Kong are at best stating opinions, not facts", as well as being "a betrayal of fundamental American values".[31][32][33] Critics also contrasted the league's disparate response to Morey's tweet with its history of political activism[34] and compared the incident to an October 2 South Park episode "Band in China" which parodies the self-censorship of the American entertainment industry to meet PRC censorship demands.[35] The statements also drew criticism from PRC state-run media for their perceived insufficiency, as Morey himself did not apologize.[36][37]

NBA commissioner Adam Silver later defended the league's response to the tweet, supporting Morey's right to freedom of expression while also accepting the right of reply from the government of and businesses from mainland China.[38] Further fallout from the tweet included the decision by China Central Television to cancel the broadcasting of two NBA preseason games,[39] pro-Hong Kong protest demonstrations held at preseason games in the United States involving teams from the Chinese Basketball Association,[40][41] the cancellation of NBA Cares community events in Shanghai,[42][2] criticism by then-president Donald Trump of the perceived double standards by the reactions of specific coaches to NBA response relative to their past criticisms of his policies,[43] and the suspension/termination of all mainland Chinese sponsors of the NBA.[2][3] A Fox Business article said that the NBA would look to Africa and India for growth if the league were to sever ties with mainland China as a result of the tweet.[44]


  1. ^ Kram, Zach (July 16, 2019). "The 30 Facts That Will Make or Break the Harden-Westbrook Rockets". The Ringer. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Lakers' NBA Cares event in Shanghai canceled amid China rift". ESPN.com. October 8, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "All of the NBA's official Chinese partners have suspended ties with the league". CNN. October 9, 2019.
  4. ^ "NBA Executive Register - Basketball Reference".
  5. ^ Windhorst, Brian (March 8, 2009). "NBA Insider: Going way beyond the box score". Cleveland.com.
  6. ^ Vranicar, David (May 19, 2010). "A Cruncher's Chance". PurpleWildcats.com. FoxSports.com. Archived from the original on July 9, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  7. ^ Dewan, John; Zminda, Don; STATS, Inc. Staff (October 1993). STATS Basketball Scoreboard, 1993-94. STATS, Inc. p. 17. ISBN 0-06-273035-5.
  8. ^ Cacciola, Scott (October 3, 2017). "Daryl Morey Built an Elite N.B.A. Team. Now He's Building a Musical". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Topham, Pnina. "BWW Review: Clutch Play SMALL BALL Delivers for Catastrophic Theatre". BroadwayWorld.com.
  10. ^ McDermott, John. "Why Be a Point Guard When You Can Be a Grandmaster? Inside the NBA's Chess Club". gq.com.
  11. ^ "Rocket Science: Daryl Morey Brings Hard-Core Statistical Analysis to the NBA". October 31, 2007.
  12. ^ "Morey's 'Moneyball' approach paying off". The Star. Retrieved May 17, 2024.
  13. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian (October 15, 2020). "Daryl Morey stepping down as Houston Rockets GM, sources say". ESPN. ESPN. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  14. ^ Young, Matt. "Daryl Morey takes out full-page ad to thank Rockets, city of Houston". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  15. ^ Tjarks, Jonathan (December 3, 2020). "The Rockets Break Ground on Their Rebuild With Westbrook-Wall Trade". The Ringer. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  16. ^ Staff, The Ringer (January 13, 2021). "The Winners and Losers of the James Harden Trade". The Ringer. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  17. ^ "Team Names Morey President of Basketball Operations". NBA.com. November 2, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  18. ^ "76ers president Daryl Morey says 3-pointers should be worth 2.5 points: 'It's just too big of a bonus'".
  19. ^ Lewis, Michael (2003). Moneyball: The art of winning an unfair game (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co. ISBN 0-393-05765-8.
  20. ^ a b Lewis, Michael (2016). The Undoing Project: A friendship that changed our minds (First ed.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-25459-4.
  21. ^ a b "Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweets support for Hong Kong protests, prompting response from owner". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  22. ^ a b c Polacek, Scott. "China Basketball Suspends Work with Rockets After Daryl Morey's Hong Kong Tweet". Bleacher Report. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  23. ^ a b Feigen, Jonathan; Chronicle, Houston (October 5, 2019). "Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta shuts down GM Daryl Morey's Hong Kong tweet". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 6, 2019. I have the best general manager in the league," Fertitta told ESPN. "Everything is fine with Daryl and me. We got a huge backlash, and I wanted to make clear that [the organization] has no [political] position. We're here to play basketball and not to offend anybody.
  24. ^ Roach, Stephen S. (2022). Accidental Conflict: America, China, and the Clash of False Narratives. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-26901-7. OCLC 1347023475.
  25. ^ "Rockets GM Daryl Morey in hot water after Hong Kong tweet". USA Today. October 5, 2019 – via MSN.com.
  26. ^ a b c d "Rockets' general manager's Hong Kong comments anger China". Associated Press. October 7, 2019.
  27. ^ "Chinese groups suspend ties with Rockets after Daryl Morey's tweet". Rockets Wire. October 6, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  28. ^ Kharpal, Arjun (October 8, 2019). "Alibaba shopping sites appear to have de-listed Houston Rockets products in China". CNBC. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  29. ^ Arnovitz, Kevin (November 12, 2019). "Inside the NBA's silent tension surrounding Daryl Morey". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  30. ^ Some relevant sources include:
  31. ^ Lane, Sylvan (October 9, 2019). "Ocasio-Cortez, Ted Cruz join colleagues blasting NBA for 'outrageous' response to China". The Hill. Archived from the original on December 30, 2020. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  32. ^ Lutz, Eric (October 10, 2019). "The NBA Isn't the Only Company Tripping Over Itself to Appease China". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on December 30, 2020. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  33. ^ "Gallagher and Sasse Lead Call for NBA to Stand Against CCP Censorship and Bullying". United States House of Representatives. October 9, 2019. Archived from the original on December 30, 2020. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  34. ^ Some relevant sources include:
  35. ^ Brzeski, Patrick (October 7, 2019). "'South Park' Scrubbed From Chinese Internet After Critical Episode". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  36. ^ 陈远丁; 黄钰; 席莉莉 (October 7, 2019). "莫雷、NBA声明均未道歉 网友:这是对中国的无视和挑衅" [Morey & NBA did not apologize; Netizens: It's provocative behavior toward China]. 人民网 (in Chinese). Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  37. ^ "央视快评:莫雷必须道歉" [Morey Must Apologize]. CCTV (in Chinese). October 7, 2019. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  38. ^ "NBA head Adam Silver defends response over tweet uproar". Reuters. October 8, 2019.
  39. ^ 王晓遐 (October 8, 2019). "中央广播电视总台央视体育再发声明 立即暂停NBA赛事转播安排" [CCTV Sport Channel issued another statement: immediately suspending NBA live broadcasts]. 央视网 (in Chinese). Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  40. ^ "Protesters show support for Hong Kong at Wizards game". AP News. AP News. October 9, 2019.
  41. ^ "China demonstrators protest at Wizards, 76ers games vs. Guangzhou". ESPN. ESPN. October 9, 2019.
  42. ^ Blennerhassett, Patrick (October 8, 2019). "Brooklyn Nets' NBA community event in Shanghai abruptly cancelled by government as China political storm rages on". South China Morning Post. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  43. ^ "Trump criticizes Kerr, Popovich for China reactions". Reuters. Reuters. October 9, 2019.
  44. ^ "NBA eyes India & Africa if China closes up over Hong Kong tweets". Fox Business. Fox Business. October 10, 2019.