Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey responded to the several criticisms of his team made by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
While saying Cuban is doing "a smart thing" by taking on a rival with his attacks, Morey rejected several of the claims Cuban has made. From Yahoo:
In Cuban's most recent baiting of the Rockets, he proclaimed that Morey had little regard for player chemistry, relying largely on the merits of math. Morey seethed over the premise and fired back to Yahoo Sports: "I completely reject it."
"Our teams have had great chemistry, and it's something we believe in. Hey, if Mark believed so much in chemistry, he wouldn't have busted up a title team for cap room."
Morey also said Cuban's attacks on Houston's analytics-heavy approach is misguided since the Mavericks have "tripled" their analytics staff, according to Morey. He responded to Cuban's claims that All-Star center Dwight Howard made a poor choice by signing with the Rockets instead of the Mavericks last summer by saying "the choice was pretty obvious" if Howard wanted to win.
"[Cuban] should want to beat up on San Antonio, too, but it's hard to paint the Spurs that way," Morey said. "So he's directed his bully pulpit onto us. Our owner stays above the fray, so I'm outgunned honestly.
"But let's be clear: If the money's equal between the Rockets and Mavericks, I think players are picking Houston. Every time."
Both teams open training camp this week. They play each other in each team's preseason opener Oct. 7 and first play in the regular season Nov. 22 in Houston.
- Ben Estes