Daryl Morey Sour Grapes

It’s been over a month and Daryl Morey still hasn’t gotten over the sting of Russell Westbrook winning the MVP which is actually very funny, a GM still obsessing over an award that has little to zero meaning in the grand scheme of things. It is titles that matter, not MVP’s. But Morey hasn’t gotten that memo. Or, perhaps Morey knows that his team can’t win a title so the MVP legitimizes Morey’s precious three point or bust system, which so far, has been bust. Morey and his philosophy have never won anything in the NBA.

The Morey-ites took the most threes of anyone in the league in 2016-17. Houston attempted 3,306 three point shots, making 35.7%. The team they were chasing, the Warriors, took 2,562 threes, making 38.3%. The Warriors won the title because of their defense. They had the second best defensive rating (the Spurs were first).  That’s why the Warriors are the champs. That, and having a forward who can be point guard, center, rebounder, shot blocker, which is something the Rockets do not have. But back to Morey’s Westbrook hate.

“I don’t know if this is a good process. The ones (awards) that are decided by players or executives or media, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. I honestly don’t think there’s a good process. You could argue for eliminating the awards altogether. I don’t really see a good way to do it that doesn’t have major issues. I like clean answers. If there’s not going to be a set criteria and there’s going to be issues with how it’s structured, for me it might be better to not have it.” (Daryl Morey to The Crossover, Sports Illustrated).

What Morey means by “set criteria” is that the voting should have standards rather than left to the human brain for interpretive analysis.

Whatever you think the MVP is, it is what you think the MVP is. Perception is reality. If you think the MVP drove their team to contention, or if you think the MVP had the best year of anyone in the league, or if you just think the MVP deserves the highest honor for their extraordinary year, then you vote accordingly. In other words, do you.

But if there was a set criteria which Morey is in favor of, then logic would be a voting characteristic, absent debate and subjectivity.

Winning? Harden. Scoring? Westbrook. Assists? Harden. Assist Percentage? Westbrook. Offensive Rating? Harden. Defensive Rating? Westbrook. PER? Westbrook. Estimated Wins? Westbrook. History? Westbrook.

That Russell Westbrook won MVP and broke James Harden’s heart (who really wanted to win the award a year after not being All-NBA) still rankles Morey. His criticism of the award is a passive-aggessive Westbrook diss. If it was about wins then Kevin Durant should have been the winner of the award. Westbrook’s team won 8 less games than the Rockets. But Durant’s team won 12 more games than the Rockets and you don’t hear the Dubs dissing Westbrook. The Spurs won 6 games more than the Rockets but R.C. Buford, the Spurs GM, is taking it all in stride that Kawhi Leonard was locked out. So what is Morey’s problem? Why is he the only GM who cares about a meaningless award?

The addition of Chris Paul to the Morey-ites means that Harden will get even less respect. Chris Paul is a better player than James Harden purely on what he does for other players and his 7 first team All-Defensive nods, including 2016-17. (James Harden has none.)

But Morey will continue to complain. It is what he does. Several years ago, when he signed Dwight Howard and Howard wasn’t an All-Star starter Morey went off.

“NBA all star voting process set up well for Iowa high school girls basketball. Offense only and guards and forwards.” (Daryl Morey on Twitter, Jan 2014)

Two years later, Morey was MIA defending Howard and so that’s the moral of this story. Morey’s outrage has a shelf life, a limit. He loves Harden and he should considering Harden’s talent. But Morey has a way of drowning everyone else in the cesspool of disgust as he is trying to pump up his guy.

It’s a bad look, kind of like what losers do.


photo via llananba