Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, is stepping down from his post, according to a person briefed on the decision who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.
The move came after the Rockets were knocked out of the N.B.A. playoffs in the second round and more than a year after Morey shared an image on Twitter in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The tweet upended relations between the N.B.A. and the Chinese government. China’s state-run television network did not broadcast any N.B.A. games since then until Game 5 of the N.B.A. finals.
Morey’s tweet got an immediate rebuke from Tilman Fertitta, the owner of the Rockets, who said in a post on Twitter: “Listen…[email protected] does NOT speak for the @HoustonRockets.”
Several Chinese sponsors, including the shoe company Li Ning, suspended their partnerships with the Rockets. In the wake of the China controversy, Fertitta called Morey “the best general manager in the league.” Commissioner Adam Silver later said that the Chinese government demanded that Morey lose his job, a request he said he denied.
Morey did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Morey, who was named the league’s executive of the year in 2018, has been general manager of the franchise since 2007. His rise in the basketball world was considered unusual at the time. He had been a front office executive for the Boston Celtics, but had never played or coached professional basketball before, nor had he been a scout. His background was in consulting.
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