“We have two high-level competitors, Chris and James, who their only goal in life at this point is to win the title. They’ve accomplished everything else, they are both going to be first-ballot Hall of Famers. Two competitive superstars at that level, there’s going to be times when they are extremely competitive, extremely focused on how do we get to that next level, and when we don’t there’s going to be frustration,” Morey said. “I’m frustrated, our top players are frustrated, Mike D’Antoni is frustrated. We want to take the last step and be the champion and I think it’s good that there is tension in the sense that we all want to win.”
Morey said the Rockets will be aggressive this offseason to solidify their status as favorites, in his opinion, to win the Western Conference. He acknowledged, however, that making moves will likely bring more tension.
“We feel like we should be the favorite in the West, and we’re going to do moves to show people that we should be the favorite in the West, and that’s going to create a little tension when we do that. But at the end of the day, we’re going to have at least our starting five back, which again most teams are scrambling to keep it together and we’re going to spend midlevel, we’re going to spend into the tax. We’re going to be one of the most expensive rosters like we were last year and this year and we’re going to be right there,” he said.
The tepid commitment to D’Antoni, the gutting of his coaching staff and the shopping of the starting five, among other factors, have created what could at best be described as an unsettling vibe for a franchise that has won more games over the past few years than any team other than the Warriors.
“There’s been some messiness to our current offseason, but we’re always going to be in a state of somewhat tension because until we achieve our goals and get where we need to be, we’re going to continue to challenge ourselves to get better,” [CEO Tad] Brown says. “That sometimes creates tension. This is just a way for us to continue to get better.”