Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey steps down

Daryl Morey wearing a suit and tie NBA Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey whose tweet supporting Hong Kong freedom in 2019 led to a costly China split with the NBA is stepping down after masterminding the Rockets basketball operations since 20

"After returning from Orlando and reflecting on what has been an fantastic 14 years with the Houston Rockets, and after discussing my thoughts with family and close friends, I've decided I'll be stepping away from the Rockets organization effective Nov 1", he said in a statement.

For the past 13 seasons, general manager Daryl Morey has been the flagbearer for a number of things: analytics, aggressive roster building, the Houston Rockets, and synergy.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey talks about recently acquired Russell Westbrook during a news conference July 26, 2019, in Houston.

After the Rockets were eliminated from this year's National Basketball Association playoffs in the COVID-19 quarantine bubble at Orlando, Morey approached Fertitta about leaving and an exit deal was completed.

Wojnarowski added that Morey will remain in an advisory role to assist in the team's search for a new head coach after Mike D'Antoni told the Rockets he wouldn't return next season.

The Rockets under Morey have the second-best record in the league during his tenure, reaching the playoffs 10 of the 13 years, including the last eight consecutively.

"Stand With Hong Kong" following the protests that erupted after the Chinese government banned face masks at the demonstrations.

The Rockets are planning to promote executive vice president of basketball operations Rafael Stone to general manager. They defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in seven games in the first round and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games in the second round.