Daryl Morey: Rockets 'Should Win' NBA Title with James Harden, Russell Westbrook

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2020

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 16: Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta (2nd L) and general manager Daryl Morey look on from courtside against the San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center on October 16, 2019 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. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey says he feels pressure to win a championship with James Harden and Russell Westbrook—a duo he believes "should" hoist the title.

"Basketball pressure wise, yeah, it's a lot," Morey said Tuesday on First Things First. "Two of the greatest players ever on our team, we should win this thing."

The Rockets were sixth in the Western Conference standings when the NBA season halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. With eight seeding games upcoming before the playoffs, they could move as high as second or drop as low as seventh.

The Rockets have been among the NBA's most embattled teams throughout the 2019-20 season, beginning when Morey stirred up controversy by offering his support to the people of Hong Kong, drawing the ire of China. The team already began the campaign having pushed its chips to the center of the table in trading for Westbrook and leaving Mike D'Antoni to coach on the final year of his contract.

Houston reached the conference finals twice in the past five seasons, including a 2018 series that went to seven games. Harden and Westbrook have already established themselves as two of the greatest players of the last 25 years to not win a championship.

"[Harden] is going to go down as one of the greatest players of all time, for sure, and it's my job to help him," Morey said. "The fact that we haven't won always does weigh on me."

The Rockets will be in a better position than typical mid-seeds because there won't be home-court advantage during the 2020 playoffs. That said, they're clearly inferior to both Los Angeles teams and perhaps even a team like the Denver Nuggets. Even if Morey thinks the Rockets "should" win with Harden and Westbrook, he probably has more work to do before it happens.