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|Born||September 14, 1972|
MIT Sloan School of Management
Daryl Morey (born September 14, 1972) is an American sports executive and a general manager of the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association since 2007. He is a strong proponent of analytical methods, having created the "true shooting percentage" statistic, and co-founded the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Morey's basketball philosophy, heavily reliant on analytics, favors three-point field goals over mid-range jumpers. This style has been dubbed "Moreyball", as a nod towards Michael Lewis's Moneyball.
During his tenure as general manager for Houston since 2007, he has posted the most wins—second only to the San Antonio Spurs—and since the blockbuster trade bringing MVP James Harden to the Rockets, he has posted the best record—third only to the Spurs and Golden State Warriors.
Morey graduated from Highland High School in Medina, Ohio before receiving a bachelor's degree in computer science with an emphasis on statistics from Northwestern University in 1996, as well as an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Morey began his career as a principal consultant with an emphasis on sports at The Parthenon Group, a leading strategy consulting firm. He was also a statistical consultant with STATS, Inc with a focus in sports.
After the Parthenon Group, Morey served three years as SVP Operations for the Boston Celtics. While with the Celtics, he was given much responsibility for basketball operations, including ticket pricing and the development of analytical methods and technology to enhance basketball decisions related to the draft, trades, free agency, and advanced scouting of opponents for the coaching staff.
Then-Houston Rockets' owner Leslie Alexander named Morey assistant general manager of the Houston Rockets on April 3, 2006. He succeeded Carroll Dawson as general manager on May 10, 2007. His hiring followed the Moneyball trend of employing more advanced statistical-based analysis in addition to the traditional use of qualitative scouting and basic statistics. Several teams have hired executives with non-traditional basketball backgrounds, but the Houston Rockets were the first NBA team to hire such a general manager. In the fall of 2012, he and the Rockets acquired now-All-Star and 2017-18 league MVP James Harden via trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder. During Morey's tenure, the Rockets have not had a losing record and have advanced to the playoffs 9 times, including to the Western Conference Finals in 2015 and 2018. He was also named the NBA Executive of the Year in 2018.
Morey is the co-chairperson for the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. He is also an avid Esports supporter, has attended MLG (Major League Gaming) events, and is part owner of Clutch Gaming, the Houston, Texas based League of Legends Championship Series eSports team. Morey is also passionate about musical theatre. He commissioned and produced the basketball themed musical Small Ball which opened in April 2018 at the Catastrophic Theatre in Houston, Texas.
In the media
Author of Moneyball, Michael Lewis, chose Daryl Morey as the new nerd-hero at the center of his 2016 book, The Undoing Project. Whereas Moneyball highlighted the plight and success of Billy Beane as GM of the Oakland Athletics in 2003, The Undoing Project reveals Daryl Morey as the underdog king of basketball, making use of a similar analytical method to acquire undervalued talent as Beane did with the A's to produce a forceful team. Lewis uses Morey as a real-world example of one who has exemplified ideas introduced by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, two Israeli psychologists whose work pioneered the field of behavioral economics. The psychologist duo defined a simple, two-part distinction of the way the brain makes decisions: System 1 and System 2. A more intuitive, subjective, fast, and efficient process, System 1 represents the brain's capacity to make split-second choices, often using personal experience to guide decision-making. System 2, however, characterizes a slower, more analytical process of reasoning to reach a conclusion. Michael Lewis points out in The Undoing Project how Daryl Morey observed basketball experts of the time making awfully subjective assessments in looking at basketball players. Shifting the Rockets' scouting strategy to look at hard data over simple observations, Morey implemented a more System-2-based approach to the team's hiring practices. This strategy is thought to be critically linked to the Houston Rockets' recent success.
- Daryl Morey [@dmorey] (September 14, 2012). "Everyone who is anyone's birthday is today, right @DilshadVadsaria? MT @jpharris51 Happy bday @dmorey - today is my birthday too! #RedNation" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Kram, Zach (2019-07-16). "The 30 Facts That Will Make or Break the Harden-Westbrook Rockets". The Ringer. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
- https://www.thestar.com/article/345327 Morey's 'Moneyball' approach paying off
- Lewis, Michael (2003). Moneyball: The art of winning an unfair game (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co. ISBN 0-393-05765-8.
- Lewis, Michael (2016). The Undoing Project: A friendship that changed our minds (First ed.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-25459-4.
- Daryl Morey on Twitter
- Daryl Morey’s ‘Small Ball’ Musical Is Very Good and Very Weird The Ringer. April 10, 2018.
- Daryl Morey Built an Elite N.B.A. Team. Now He’s Building a Musical. The New York Times. October 3, 2017.
- Ranking The Top 12 GMs In The NBA Right Now Chat Sports. September 1, 2017.
- Basketball’s Nerd King: How Daryl Morey used behavioral economics to revolutionize the art of NBA draft picks. Slate. December 6, 2016.
- Moreyball Northwestern Magazine. Winter 2013.
- The Elephant on the Court - Predicting Performance in Basketball. The Economist. April 20, 2012.
- Success Comes From Better Data, Not Better Analysis. Harvard Business Review Blog Network. August 8, 2011.
- Discovering Hidden Gems: The Story of Daryl Morey, Shane Battier, and the Houston Rockets Harvard Business School. September 24, 2010.
- MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference This year's conference is being held on March 6, 2010.
- The No-Stats All-Star The New York Times. February 13, 2009.
- How Do You Know ... This Game Isn't Rocket Science? ESPN The Magazine. October 22, 2008.
- Houston’s G.M. Is a Revolutionary Spirit in a Risk-Averse Mind The New York Times. January 28, 2008.
- Rocket Science: Daryl Morey Brings Hard-Core Statistical Analysis to the NBA Houston Press. November 1, 2007.
- 10 Questions with Daryl Morey ClutchFans. May 22, 2006.
- Daryl Morey Playlist Appearance on WMBR's Dinnertime Sampler March 3, 2004
- Daryl Morey's Modified Pythagorean Theorem