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Rafael Stone

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by tmoney1101, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. tmoney1101

    tmoney1101 Contributing Member

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    can’t read because I don’t have subscription and the chronicle can’t figure out any other way to create revenue. @JR?
     
  2. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Rafael Stone was on his way. Just eight years out of Stanford Law, he had a reputation as a legal rainmaker, with a thick book of coveted clients. He was just 32 years old when he was made a partner at Dewey Ballantine, a top New York law firm.

    A week later, he quit.

    The Rockets offered far less money, but his passion for basketball would not let him pass up this opportunity.

    Decades after his father chose law over an NBA career, Stone jumped at the chance to become general counsel of the Rockets, eventually moving over to the basketball operations side. On Thursday, the Rockets named him general manager, succeeding Daryl Morey.

    “I knew he was one of the smartest, most capable young lawyers at Dewey Ballantine,” said former Rockets president George Postolos, who hired Stone. “He was extremely well regarded at the firm. The Rockets were lucky to get him at that time in the role as general counsel. I knew he loved the game. He gave up a great legal career. He gave up a lot to follow his passion.”

    Stone, 48, had played at Division III Williams College. A skilled passer, ballhandler and defender for that level, he was well aware that he did not have the athletic ability to make a career as a player.

    The Seattle native moved his family to Houston — Stone and his wife, Felicia, have three children, Gerard, 18; Madison Edwards, 18; and Trace 14 — about a year before Morey was hired by former Rockets owner Leslie Alexander to be the general manager in waiting, succeeding Carroll Dawson in 2007.

    Morey quickly made Stone part of the Rockets’ decision-making, even in trade calls — unusual for a member of a team’s legal department — along with his role with negotiations and contracts.

    Though Morey long has been the face of the Rockets’ front office, over the years he has kept his assistants heavily involved not just in decision-making, but in the negotiations themselves. The roles of Sam Hinkie, Gersson Rosas, Monte McNair, Stone and Eli Witus, who on Thursday was promoted to assistant general manager, have been well known throughout the league.

    Stone, who has been known within the Rockets’ hierarchy for being able to move easily from the most traditional basketball minds to the most cutting edge members of the analytics department, often has been on the forefront of moves for role players such as Ben McLemore or, most recently, David Nwaba.

    But he also has been involved in some the biggest moves in the NBA.

    He and Morey spent most of 72 hours locked in a conference room while completing the trade for James Harden. Witus handled much of the negotiations with the Timberwolves on the Robert Covington portion of this season’s three-team trade before the deadline.

    Stone and Witus put together much of the Rockets’ trade for Chris Paul and the series of trades that day that accompanied it.

    The strategy itself even came from an effort years earlier to acquire Carmelo Anthony when Anthony was one of the league’s highest-paid players, and an idea Witus came up with to use a clause in the collective bargaining agreement.

    The Anthony trade never was made, and the idea itself eventually was not part of the trade for Paul. But it demonstrated how much Morey entrusted to others in the front office.

    That also meant encouraging differing opinions, with Morey and Stone often having vehement debates on anything from basketball moves to movies before reaching a consensus.

    Stone’s legal background shows in his taste for a good argument and a determination to find benefits to both parties in a negotiation.

    That could be a family trait. Rafael Stone Sr. chose a career in law negotiating investments after starring as a point guard at the University of Washington, where he played for former Rockets coach and Hall of Famer Tex Winter and against Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Paul Westphal.

    His son does not have that kind of background as a player, but he made his way to the NBA by taking a leap to the Rockets 15 years ago.

    “This has got to be a dream come true for him,” Postolos said. “He was living a dream when he took the legal job with the Rockets. This has got to be a great day for him and his family.”
     
  3. kjayp

    kjayp Contributing Member

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    I'll give the guy a chance... maybe a perfect marriage of analytics and playing experience...


    but still hate to see Morey go...
     
  4. Rocket Guy

    Rocket Guy Member

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    Cant wait to tell a team they...."Got Stoned!"
     
  5. Rudyc281

    Rudyc281 Member

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    He’s paid his dues.

    And don’t think the article mentioned he also attends the Sloan conference as well.
     
  6. hakeemthagreat

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    Stoneball era now?


    Lmao. I hope this guy let's our next coach run the team and interfere in on the court decisions
     
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  7. Hakeemtheking

    Hakeemtheking Member

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    Well, this Stone guy is smart and like you guys said, he has paid his dues, so let's give him a chance.
     
  8. FrontRunner

    FrontRunner Member

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    Would he have been been a GM candidate anywhere had Daryl not quit?

    Doubt it. But wish him the best of luck. He's going to need it.
     
  9. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    The guy seems smart. Hopefully he becomes the next wiz kid GM. Better than hiring a re-tread.
     
  10. clos4life

    clos4life Contributing Member

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    I guess Tillman couldn't get anyone else to be his GM.
     
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  11. RudyTBag

    RudyTBag Contributing Member

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    What makes you say that?

    Gerson and and Sam got hired in a HURRY.
     
  12. Rudyc281

    Rudyc281 Member

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    FWIW he went to same college as Will
    Hardy.

    Hardy joins rockets as lead assistant under Lucas after next year Lucas out Hardy in.

    I know just throwing S&@! against the wall.

    But literally wondering what staff will we have around Lucas if he is indeed named head coach.
     
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  13. D-rock

    D-rock Member

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    And Duncan Robinson.

    Williams University, which is a potted ivy.
     
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  14. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    stoneball will be a great tandem with tillmen's kid. together they will bulldoze thru the league.
     
  15. FrontRunner

    FrontRunner Member

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    The article seems like a puff piece put out by the organization. Of course he was in on trades, he was writing the contracts.

    He may be a great guy, super smart, and well respected within the organization, but it looks like a "next man up" sort of situation and doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. Anything can happen, but I'll be surprised if the Rockets make it out of the first round the way they're constructed today. I'm not saying you're right and I'm wrong, but we need a great GM to fix things and I'm skeptical.
     
  16. latebloomer19

    latebloomer19 Member

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  17. DeBeards

    DeBeards Member

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    seldom see op posting thread......
    let's get stoned, lol
     
  18. dc rock

    dc rock Contributing Member

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    What's going to be the pic everyone uses when he makes a good trade or signing?

    [​IMG]
     
  19. ApacheWarrior

    ApacheWarrior Member

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    Feels like the ship just hit the iceberg and our rivets popped
     
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  20. Rudyc281

    Rudyc281 Member

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    This is gold lol
     
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