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Daryl Morey Steps Down As Houston Rockets GM

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Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has resigned.

What We Know:

  • Many in the NBA community foresaw big changes for the Houston Rockets after another disappointing end to their season, but the expectation was that Morey’s position would be safe. According to ESPN, Morey brought up the idea of leaving the team with owner Tilman Fertitta and both sides quietly arranged an exit arrangement.
  • Morey spent 13 seasons at the helm for the Rockets. He most notably made the 2012 trade for James Harden and constructed the team that won 65 games in 2018. Under Morey, the Rockets made the playoffs eight consecutive years, the longest active streak in the league, and maintained the second-best regular-season record over the past 13 years.
  • Morey was one of the foremost advocates for the heavy use of analytics in basketball. His teams with Mike D’Antoni were known for targeting the most “high-percentage” shots on the court. The Rockets perenially took the most threes in the league and almost entirely eliminated the midrange jumper from their shot selection, a trend that a lot of the league has followed.
  • Morey’s job security initially came under question in 2019 when he tweeted his support for Hong Kong protests. That tweet stirred a massive controversy with the Chinese government that had serious financial implications for the NBA and Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.
  • The Rockets are promoting executive VP of basketball operations Rafael Stone to general manager and Morey will stay on in an advisory role during Houston’s coaching search. Former head coach Mike D’Antoni stepped down shortly after their 2020 season concluded and the team is fielding several candidates. The Rockets have already met with Tyronne Lue and former Houston head coach Jeff Van Gundy.

There are plenty of teams that would love to have Morey as an executive, but it’s unclear if and when he will return to the league. According to ESPN, Morey hasn’t ruled out returning to the NBA, but he is interested in exploring other professional opportunities and spending time with his kids.

 

Update: Tyronne Lue has agreed to become the head coach for the Los Angeles Clippers.

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Sagar is a Digital Intern at UnmutedCo. He graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in Trumpet Performance and Economics. Sagar writes for Black News Alerts and the BNA Daily Podcast.

Coronavirus

Dodgers Win World Series

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The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6, capturing their first World Series title since 1988.

What We Know:

  • The Dodgers had a tough time early in the game, but came alive in the sixth inning. This was helped by Rays manager Kevin Cash’s questionable decision to pull their starting pitcher Blake Snell early.
  • Snell pitched 18 strikeouts in the World Series and just allowed two hits during this game, so it was surprising to see him leave the game so early.
  • This gave the Dodgers an opportunity that they wouldn’t waste. After trailing 0-1, the Dodgers were able to tie off a wild pitch and Mookie Betts was able to make it home to take the lead. He capped off the game with a monster home run to seal the game.

  • This championship must feel good for LA. It’s their second one this month as the Lakers won the NBA Championship just weeks ago. Not only is this the Dodgers’ first championship in over 30 years, it’s one that caps off a decade of dominant regular-season baseball.
  • The Dodgers have been one of the MLB’s best teams for the last several seasons, but they have always disappointed or fallen just short of winning it all. This win completely changes the legacies of every member of their core, especially Clayton Kershaw.
  • A little bit of controversy to go with this joyous occasion: Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tested positive for COVID-19. The Dodgers were notified midgame and Turner was pulled in the eighth inning. Turner said he was feeling fine and asymptomatic, but he drew a lot criticism for celebrating with the team and taking photos while taking his mask off.

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Dodgers president Andrew Friedman said of Turner, “I don’t think there was anyone that was going to stop him from going out.”

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Coronavirus

Jaguars RB Ryquell Armstead Hospitalized With COVID-19

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Jacksonville Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead has been hospitalized twice due to the coronavirus.

What We Know:

  • Armstead, 23, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list during the first week of September and is still dealing with “significant respiratory issues,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
  • Armstead has been battling the virus for months now and is reportedly still suffering a variety of complications. Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone said there is no timetable for his recovery and that “he’ll be out a while”.
  • Over 20 NFL players have contracted the coronavirus this year. The United States death toll is over 224,000 and is still rising.
  • Armstead was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. He rushed for 108 yards last season. The Jaguars expected him to become their starting running back this season and take on a bigger role, but that will have to wait until he makes a full recovery.

Undrafted rookie James Robinson has taken over as Jacksonville’s starting running back.

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Vikings Trade Yannick Ngakoue

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The Minnesota Vikings have traded pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens.

What We Know:

  • The deal will send Ngakoue to Baltimore and a 2021 third-round pick and 2022 conditional fifth-round pick to Minnesota, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
  • Ngakoue will spend the Ravens’ bye week going through COVID-19 testing. He should be available for their Week 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Baltimore already has the league’s best defense, only allowing 17.3 points per game, and they are now adding a former Pro-Bowl selection. The Ravens are 5-1 and second in the AFC North, right behind the Steelers.
  • The Ravens previously tried to trade for Ngakoue in recent months and tried to acquire Jadeveon Clowney before the season started. The Ravens still have their franchise tag in Matthew Judon to pair with Ngakoue. Ngakoue has already been traded once this season when Jacksonville sent him to Minnesota.
  • Through six games in Minnesota, Ngakoue had five sacks, two forced fumbles, seven quarterback hits and 12 tackles, five of which resulted in losses. The Vikings unfortunately couldn’t capitalize on his production and started 1-5.

Ngakoue is reportedly excited to be heading to Baltimore. He grew up in Bowie, Maryland and played college ball at the University of Maryland.

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