Daryl Morey did his introductory press conference on Monday afternoon alongside Elton Brand, Josh Harris, and Doc Rivers.
That’s it. That’s the entire lede.
Let’s get right into the key takeaways:
- This whole thing apparently came together very quickly, according to the group. Morey seemed excited to reunite with Doc Rivers and inherit a roster with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
- Morey said that Elton Brand urged Josh Harris to bring him in so they could work together. Might be some reading between the lines there, because it would be wonky on the surface for somebody to go ask for an executive to be installed above them. They also hired the coach first, so they technically did it backwards but ended up with a solid group anyway.
- He thinks Embiid is a dominant big man and pointed out that he “got close” with Yao Ming in Houston (they won 50+ games on four different occasions with him).
- Morey’s original plan was to take some time off with his kids and family but says the Sixers went after him right away to join the franchise.
On the idea of small ball, here’s what Morey said about how much of the 2020 Rockets’ style translates to this roster:
“First I’d say that how we play is going to be up to Doc, and that’s one reason I’m excited to be here, to work with a championship coach like Doc. I think he agrees, and he can jump in, but the best way to win in the NBA is to take your talents and figure out how to utilize them the best. It’s not to take your talent and hammer it into a particular system. It’s to try to get the most out of who you have. It doesn’t take much to look at when Joel is on the floor and healthy, and he’s been in here twice a day for quite a while, he’s very focused and motivated – that this is an unbelievable defensive team. And he’s an extremely good offensive player. He’s the kind of player you win championships with. We were trying to build the best kind of team around our talent in Houston, but here Doc is gonna take the talent we have and use them to the best of their ability.”
Rivers followed by saying that he loves the roster and thinks it will fit, though they have to get “into the lab” and look at it.
- Morey dodged a question about what went wrong for the Sixers this past year, said he wanted more time to study his new team and dive in before speaking on the topic.
- He had a long meeting with Brand and Rivers before the press conference and it sounds like the group is just getting started.
- When asked whether Simmons and Embiid can work together, he deferred to Rivers, who said he has “no doubt they can… I think we need to change the narrative, that they haven’t won yet. There are a lot of combinations of players around the league that haven’t won yet.”
It’s still going to be a collaboration, but a different one. That’s the gist I got from two questions on the topic.
Elton Brand pointed out that in an earlier press conference he was looking for ways to improve the front office, and adding Morey was one way to do it. He says he’ll accept whatever his role may be.
“I’m going to follow Daryl’s lead,” Brand said.
To piggyback off that, I asked about the organizational chart and hierarchy of the front office with the additions of Peter Dinwiddie, Prosper Karangwa, Jameer Nelson, and departure of Alex Rucker.
It seems like that’s still being ironed out a bit, but this is what Brand had to say:
“Well this is Daryl’s first day. We’ve had a lot of meetings. He’s been to my house and we spent some hours together out on the Main Line. We’ve been in the city with Doc, meeting in secret places. But we’re figuring that out and in the next few days we’ll have the org chart and the roles and who is going to do what. Daryl can speak to that if he wants to, but he’s excited about the hires that we’ve made, that I’ve made, and he looks forward to working with everyone.”
Morey followed up by explaining that he has a very collaborative style and thinks the best ideas can “come from anywhere.”
That might sound a little concerning based on the fact that the Sixers just tried a collaboration that they admitted did not work, so essentially this is something similar, but with a bona fide and experienced figurehead.
“Ultimately someone has to make a final decision, and that’s on me, Doc, and this group on the stage,” Morey said. “But once you make that decision everyone gets behind it, and you’re collaborative before that. Any sort of ‘my way or the highway’ doesn’t yield championships, in my opinion.”
- Morey says the goal is not to shoot three-pointers, but to win, and didn’t seem to suggest that they were going to shoehorn any certain style on to Doc Rivers or this roster.
- Rivers followed up by saying that he doesn’t care where the scoring comes from.
- Morey thinks he has a group he can build around, but said a championship team isn’t going to look exactly like what they have right now. “To have two star players 24 and 26 years old, that’s why I couldn’t get Doc to interview in Houston.”
- Josh Harris says ownership is basically going to stay out of the way and support the group they now have in place. He doesn’t agree with the assertion that ownership was too close to the players and that they were coddled.
- Morey said he never got past preliminary discussions when the Sixers pursued him a few years ago.
- Brand thinks Jameer Nelson will be successful at anything, and he’s looking forward to him scouting and cutting his teeth in the G League.
- On Hong Kong, Morey said “I said what I said and it’s been addressed. I know Doc and Elton agree with me in using this platform to push things that are important.” He said he’s proud of the NBA for what the league did with the bubble and using arenas to become voting places.
Here’s the full video:
🎥 Daryl Morey welcomed as President of Basketball Operations by Managing Partner Josh Harris, along with Elton Brand & Doc Rivers. https://t.co/1WIHDjaU2A
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 2, 2020