Daryl Morey has been officially announced as the 76ers president of basketball operations. In his presentation press conference, the manager expressed his enthusiasm for his new position and for the great potential of the roster led by Doc Rivers, whom he had tried to recruit before he signed for the Pennsylvania franchise.
“My goal is to win a championship, so we will do whatever it takes to get there,” Morey said during the virtual conference. “We have two star players, ages 24 and 26, so I couldn’t get Doc Rivers to come do an interview in Houston. He looked at this template and said, ‘It’s amazing, I’m sorry I can’t fly to Houston to meet you, Daryl.’ Then it ended up here a couple of weeks later. It was very good ”. Indeed, only two weeks separated the firing of Doc Rivers as Clippers coach from the resignation of the manager in Houston.
Morey agreed to leave the Rockets last month after more than a decade of involvement. At the time he had stated that he planned to take a year off. A posture that was not long in turning completely. This Monday he found himself sitting next to Rivers himself, the general manager Elton Brand and owner Josh Harris.
“That was my plan [un año sabático]”Morey added. “I’m a pretty competitive guy but that was my plan. My wife was urging me to do that. But Elton, Doc, and Josh were relentless. Frankly, the more you look at what Elton has put together, this squad with Joel and Ben headlining and other great players like Al, Josh, Tobias and a few youngsters, I just got to hang out with Doc. He and I have been chatting a lot. . And the deeper we go, the more we are excited about what this team can do. “
The 76ers entered the 2019-20 season with very high expectations that were ultimately far from being met. The team was hampered by injuries while the trident formed by Simmons, Embiid and Horford never quite fit in, notably conditioning the quintets and approaches on the track.
Now, Morey finds himself with a template and system very different from those exploited in Houston around the small-ball. It is still unknown how these new 76ers will play, although the manager has suggested that there could be changes and clarified that he fully trusts Rivers’ abilities.
“The way we play is up to Doc,” Morey said. “That is one of the reasons why I am so excited to work with a champion coach like him. I think the best way to win in the NBA is to take your present talent and figure out how to use it in the best possible way. It is not about forcing talent into a particular system. It’s about getting the most out of what you have. “
While no one doubts the individual talent of Embiid and Simmons, there are many voices questioning the compatibility of both on the court, especially in today’s NBA in which the triple and spacing are more crucial than ever. But both Morey and Rivers have ruled out the idea of trading either of them.
“I have no doubt they can,” Rivers said. “We have to change the narrative. They haven’t won yet but it’s not that they can’t. The ‘can’t’ should be removed. But they have a combination of qualities that the league does not have. I am looking forward to this challenge. “
Part of that challenge will also fall on Morey’s shoulders, specifically in everything that concerns how to solve a staff full of talent, but with apparently inadequate pieces and, in some things, with a salary not in line with the performance offered.
(Cover photo by Mitchell Leff / Getty Images)