The Philadelphia 76ers said Monday the team had named Daryl Morey as president of basketball operations, the former Houston Rockets executive whose tweeted support for Hong Kong protesters last year triggered the NBA’s feud with China.
In a statement, the Sixers said the 48-year-old was seen as the perfect choice to help turn the team from postseason also-rans to championship contenders.
During Morey’s 2007-2020 reign in the Houston front office, the team compiled a 640-400 record and never had a losing season. The Rockets reached the playoffs on 10 occasions during that time.
“Daryl Morey is one of the very best front-office executives in the NBA and I’m thrilled to welcome him to Philadelphia as the 76ers President of Basketball Operations,” Sixers managing partner Josh Harris said.
“Talent like Daryl rarely becomes available so we moved quickly and aggressively to bring him here.
“He has an extraordinary track record of success in this league as an innovator, visionary and leader, and I believe he significantly improves our chances of delivering a championship-caliber team to our fans.”
Morey’s final campaign in Houston brought severe scrutiny after his October 2019 tweet regarding Hong Kong protests that led to China suspending sponsorship deals with the NBA and pulling NBA game telecasts off Chinese television for a year.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta both backed Morey, the 2018 NBA Executive of the Year, despite Chinese calls for his dismissal and what Silver estimated were financial losses to the NBA of about $400 million.