Daryl Morey: I Don't Understand Teams That Aren't Obsessed with Beating Warriors

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2018

HOUSTON, TX - June 1:  Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey is interviewed as the Rockets announce D'Antoni as their new head coach on June 1, 2016 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is still obsessed with beating the Golden State Warriors following his team's Game 7 loss to the defending champions in the Western Conference Finals.

Speaking to ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth on Tuesday (h/t Def Pen Hoops' Rob Lopez), Morey said his level of obsession with beating the Warriors remains a "10."

"I don't understand the teams that aren't obsessed with beating them," he said. "To win the championship, you have to beat the Warriors. Every team should be figuring out how to beat the Warriors. So that's all we work on. Obviously there's other very good-to-great teams in this league, but the Warriors are likely on to winning three of the last four titles."

Tuesday's remark echoes one Morey made in December during a conversation with ESPN's Ryen Russillo.

"It's the only thing we think about," he said. "I think I'm not supposed to say that, but we're basically obsessed with 'How do we beat the Warriors?' ... We calculated it—it's like 90 percent if we're gonna win a title, we've gotta obviously beat the Warriors at some point. So we're extremely focused on that. A lot of our signings and what we do during the year is based on that."

The Rockets were one win away from sending the Warriors home in the Western Conference Finals when they took a 3-2 series lead thanks to a 98-94 Game 5 win. However, Chris Paul suffered a hamstring injury that knocked him out for Games 6 and 7, and the Warriors took advantage en route to their fourth straight conference title.

In order to keep the core of the team intact, the Rockets will have to re-sign Chris Paul to what figures to be a max deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t Shane Mickle of Clutch Points):

"When the Rockets made that deal for Paul with the Clippers and knew that they would re-sign him in free agency, I think they made a conscious decision that 'We're gonna have to live with [paying him] that $46-47 million-a-year salary when he's not nearly the player anymore in his late 30s,' but, 'We're gonna make a run at it now; we wanna win a championship now. We'll deal with it [Paul's contract] later.'

"We'll see how that plays out in their contract talks [with Paul] here for free agency, but Chris Paul didn't turn down $200 million from the Clippers because he thought that somehow the Rockets were gonna talk him into saving them luxury-tax money down the road. I don't imagine it playing out that way."

The Rockets are also considered a possible suitor for LeBron James, according to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, but clearing max cap space to accommodate his arrival will be a daunting task.

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