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Morey has been with the Rockets for 13 years, and the decision to leave appears to have been his own. Wojnarowski reported that Morey approached owner Tilman Fertitta about leaving the team after the Rockets were eliminated from the NBA playoffs.
There was a significant question last year about whether Morey would even last the season as Rockets GM. In October 2019, Morey posted a tweet in support of the protests in Hong Kong. That threw NBA-China relations into chaos, with the cancellation of numerous sponsorships and China yanking the NBA off the air. That one tweet cost the NBA and Fertitta a significant amount of revenue from China, where basketball is the No. 1 sport.
Despite the loss of revenue and Chinese officials calling for Morey to be fired, Fertitta stood by his GM. From Woj:
Through it all, Fertitta remained consistently adamant that he was committed to Morey, calling him "the best general manager in the league" in an interview with ESPN on the night of the tweet. Fertitta never seemed to waver in his plan for Morey to continue running the Rockets' basketball operations.
Fertitta’s praise wasn’t unwarranted. Over Morey’s 13 seasons as GM, the Rockets have the NBA’s second-best record. Since he became GM in the 2007-2008 season, the Rockets have been to the playoffs 10 times.
According to Woj, the Rockets are planning to promote Rafael Stone, the current executive vice president of basketball operations, into Morey’s position. Morey will remain an in advisory role until they find a new head coach.
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