Josh Harris opened up today’s press conference with a simple thought, “Today is an exciting day for Sixers’ basketball”. And he is right, today the team introduced officially, Daryl Morey as the President of Basketball Operations.
Harris went on to say that when a talent like Morey or Doc Rivers becomes available you have to move quickly, and that’s what the 76ers did. Harris said later in the meeting that most of the time guys of this caliber are under contract, so when they actually do become available you cannot hesitate and have to move quickly. Luckily, for the team, ownership did and now the 76ers have major championship quality parts coming together in coaching and in the front office.
Morey started off the day by saying how excited he was to be here, and how he couldn’t turn down an opportunity to work with ownership that is committed to winning championships and guys like Doc Rivers and Elton Brand. Said being in Boston he knew the passion Philly fans had, and he is excited to win us over. He also said he knows fans will hold him accountable and he embraces that. He also mentioned that he couldn’t turn down the chance to work with this roaster, including Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
“The goal isn’t to shoot three-pointers the goal is to win.”Daryl Morey 76ers President of Basketball Operations
Multiple times during the press conference Morey was first to mention Joel Embiid’s name when talking about players and made it a point to say that he believes that they can go all the way with Joel. Said he was excited to get back to working with a dominant big man and brings up his time in Houston with Yao Ming and how they almost won it then.
There has been a ton of speculation since the unofficial announcement of the Morey hire, and how his small-ball style of last year would fit into the 76ers roster. When asked about that same sentiment today, he said that it will be up to Doc how they play the game. Morey says the best way to win is to take what you have and build around your talent, so just because small-ball was the way to go in Houston doesn’t mean it’s the case in Philadelphia. He said he has been asked what he would have if they had Shaq, and he said “I’d give Shaq the ball 100 times.”
As far as making trades and reshaping the roster, Morey did not elaborate on much. When pushed he said that he believes this team can win with the foundational pieces, i.e. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, but did say that more than likely the team will not be exactly the same as constructed today when they win a championship. He continued on to say he doesn’t know what changes need to be made as it is only his first day on the job, but between him, Rivers, and Brand they will use their time to figure it out. Morey said one of the biggest mistakes organizations make is they think the roster needs to be perfect on day one. He said that they should take their time and gain an understanding before making major moves, if a great move is available he is willing to do it, but it shouldn’t be forced.
“If you have great people, and data that gives you the ground truth to what you are working towards, you will make great decisions.”Daryl Morey 76ers President of Basketball Operations
When asked about the front-office structure, Morey said that it will still be a collaborative effort. He said that “my way or the highway” mentality is not a key to winning, but ultimately he will make the final decision. Daryl mentioned that doing things collaboratively is an advantage because great ideas can come from anywhere, from the very bottom to the very top, and everyone should be listened to. When ultimately a decision is made, then everyone in the group will get behind that decision and press forward.
“The more you dig into the players that are here, the more you get excited about what this team can do”Daryl Morey on the current 76ers
Morey did not give much insight about what he will do trade wisely, but he was asked about the draft and having five picks this year, something he hasn’t had the luxury of in Houston in quite some time. The short offseason presents a challenge to teams when it comes to judging talent in the draft, but Morey has faith in what Brand has learned so far about potential draft picks and said that even though the Rockets did not have a pick this year, his time in Houston still was spent evaluating draft talent in case the team was to buy a second-round pick or find an undrafted free agent.
“We are not the favorites, but with a healthy Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons and the roster Doc is coaching, I feel we are being underrated. “Daryl Morey 76ers President of Basketball Operations
Today starts a new era for 76ers basketball, one that hopefully will lead to them hoisting a banner inside the Wells Fargo Center one day. Although there may be moves still to make, and a roster to figure out, the team has taken giant leaps by bringing in both Doc Rivers as head coach and Daryl Morey as President of Basketball Operations. Because of the front office and coaching moves combined with the potential superstar power of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the future is once again bright for the organization.