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[ESPN / Watkins] A sitdown with Rockets owner Leslie Alexander, GM Daryl Morey

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Deuce, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

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    A sitdown with Rockets owner Leslie Alexander, GM Daryl Morey
    http://espn.go.com/blog/houston-rockets/post/_/id/1447/a-rockets-qa-with-leslie-alexander

    Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander and general manager Daryl Morey sat down with ESPN.com after the team fired coach Kevin McHale. Alexander, who has owned the team since 1993, has won two NBA titles and posted 15 winning seasons since taking over. Here’s a Q&A with the Rockets’ power brokers.

    ESPN: How hard was this decision?

    Alexander: It was [hard]. I really like Kevin, I got a great relationship with him. The person I had a great relationship with before that was Rudy [Tomjanovich], so it was tough. And he did a great job last year in getting us to the Western Conference Finals, missing two starters; it looked like he was going to be around a long time. This was so shocking and quick.


    At what point did you realize a change was needed?

    Alexander: I’m watching the games, I’m watching us lose by huge amounts and not playing hard. Then I watched the Boston game, and before the game starts, I know we’re going to lose. I knew I was going to lose to Dallas, and I thought we’d lose the game before that. Then we played Boston, and I was 100 percent sure we’d lose even when we were up, I knew we were going to lose. So, I’m watching the games, I know we’re not playing hard or good defense, not moving the ball well, it doesn’t look like a good team, we look very ragged and then when they got up on us in the fourth quarter when we were up by 15 or so -- I didn’t watch the fourth quarter. First time I never watched a quarter of my team's play, I knew we were going to lose. I don’t like to watch losing. It’s no fun losing. At that point, a decision needs to be made here.

    How much of this is on the players?

    Alexander: Well, the players weren’t playing hard so, whatever that means, I can’t be in their heads, whatever that means.

    What does it say when Kevin talks about lack of effort and the players saying they need to communicate better?

    Alexander: We need change. Change needed to be made.

    What do you like about J.B. Bickerstaff?

    Alexander: We spoke to him, and we think he’s a good young coach with a lot of experience. He is on the defensive end, which we really need a lot of help on. We have a good offensive coordinator [Chris Finch], so at the same time we have both. J.B. has a good relationship with the players, which I think is very important. If they didn't know him, it would be tough in the adjustment process. Now it’s much quicker.

    Can J.B. win this job?

    Alexander: Of course he can. If the team responds to him and we win, of course he can.

    He’s here until the end of the season, and then you’re going to re-evaluate him. That correct?

    Alexander: 100 percent.

    How hard has it been to watch James Harden's play? Slow start, then he picked things up.

    Alexander: It’s hard to watch him when he struggles, but almost all great players struggle sometime in their career. And as a great player, he’ll be out of that quickly.

    How long before Dwight Howard starts playing every game and stops missing back-to-backs?

    Alexander: I’d like to get that started quickly where he plays every game.

    Morey: Doctors say that’s close, the doctors got to give us the clearance on that, so far they haven’t. His body has been responding well, so I think we might be close on that.

    Ty Lawson was the big move in the offseason. How would you evaluate him?

    Morey: I would say Ty can help us. He’s a part of how we’re going to get out of this. You can’t point out one thing when you’re losing by 10 to 20 [points] to bad teams at home, you can’t point out one thing. I would say yeah, Ty is not playing well, but so is a large majority of our roster, unfortunately.

    You kept the roster basically together, so now I’m going to second-guess you -- was it the best thing to do, now that you see the record?

    Morey: If we turned it around, it would be the right decision. But if we don’t, then it would have been not as good a decision.

    You OK with it?

    Alexander: Yes.

    Too late to catch Golden State?

    Alexander: Not at that point to think about that. All that we’re thinking about is turning this around so we can start to win.

    Morey: I will say the West is very tough, it’s one reason why there was no time to turn it around. We can’t keep losing games or we’re going to get out of the race -- let alone compete with Golden State that’s playing at a high level. We do feel like we can compete with them.

    How personal is this for you to get this thing turned around?

    Alexander: I hate to lose. I enjoy watching my team play, and I can’t watch my team play now. I want to win real fast.

    You don’t believe it’s too late?

    Alexander: No. There’s time. We’re three games under .500, and that’s not hard to overcome.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. RESINator

    RESINator Member

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    Truth bomb
     
  3. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

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    so little chance les re-hires jvg
     
  4. RV6

    RV6 Contributing Member

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    Les basically saying he didn't get along with JVG and Adelman
     
  5. KlutchQT

    KlutchQT Contributing Member

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    Yup.

    LOLOL @ "I want to win fast." He's like a little kid, and I mean that in the most complimentary way.
     
  6. Dave_78

    Dave_78 Member

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    I thought he bailed out on the Harden question. I wish he would have said "James is a franchise player and we expect him to go out there and give the type of effort on both ends that you expect from your franchise player."

    Hopefully, those things are being said to James behind closed doors.
     
  7. JeffB

    JeffB Contributing Member

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    Any coach or GM is gonna have to get along with Alexander. Not a big deal, in my opinion, but Alexander cares about being in the loop.

    The man does not like to be embarrassed. Embarrassment over cutting Lin (who then had the awesome stretch in NY) is what motivated Alexander to demand Morey sign Lin. When the dude feels his team is making him look bad, he will take decisive action.

    I would not be surprised to see Morey out at the end of this season. Especially, if these players don't start playing with some pride.
     
  8. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Owner goes into the game thinking/knowing his team is going to lose. Yikes!

    Dwight, you're on the hot seat. :grin:
     
    #8 J.R., Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  9. MtthwPnngbtn

    MtthwPnngbtn Member

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    This some real ***** ****. Preach.
     
  10. RV6

    RV6 Contributing Member

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    If that's true, then he most be even more pissed about Whiteside.
     
  11. oakdogg

    oakdogg Contributing Member

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    I don't like Les saying "my team." It's completely accurate, but I don't like it. Seems like the Rockets are the city and the fans' team. Les is just a little old guy from Florida who gets to keep the profits.
     
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  12. smoothie

    smoothie Contributing Member
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    i'm glad les is willing to take action. i'm not sold on jb getting us in the playoffs.
     
  13. OldYelllowDog

    OldYelllowDog Contributing Member
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    Les always wanted the coach to communicate and work with the front office. He had that relationship with McHale.

    Adelman wanted autonomy about coaching the team. When Rockets traded away Battier for Thabeet, coach was asked how much playing time he would get. Adelman replied "what am I going to do with this kid? I just lost one of my starters."
     
  14. Raven

    Raven Member

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    You paying attention Uncle Bob, because Les is showing you how it's done. Accountability matters.
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. Nook

    Nook Member

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    I actually like it. He is a fan, he wants to win and he takes it personal.
     
  16. SF3isBack!!

    SF3isBack!! Member

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    He spoke the truth. Your best player will struggle. Even Lebron goes through stretches of strugglin. Curry did last year too. We were spoiled with Harden being crazy consistent last year. You figure yeah we will lose games when he struggles but not like this. You don't need to make up for Harden's struggles and your coach's ineptness at the same time. One of those things you can fix right away.
     
  17. JeffB

    JeffB Contributing Member

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    The Lin thing is true.

    I'm not gonna fish for the links, but in the hoopla over the Lin signing, there were articles in which Alexander himself stated Lin was his call. In a Chronicle article, Morey talked about getting chewed out over the phone by Alexander every great game Lin had. I found it telling and pointed it out on the board back then.

    One comment in particular had to do with Alexander being a New Yorker and having a payer his team cut tearing it up in New York, where Alexander's social circle is. Dude did not appreciate the look.

    Alexander may be pissed about Whiteside. But Whiteside isn't finding his resurgence in NY, though.
     
  18. SF3isBack!!

    SF3isBack!! Member

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    This^. Plus it literally is his team, lol.
     
  19. whiskeyred

    whiskeyred Contributing Member

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    "Hot seats, get yer hot seats!"
     
  20. Icehouse

    Icehouse Contributing Member

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    He paid for the squad and is the one shelling out the cash, so....
     
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