Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 7/19/12

An interview that started off friendly became heated after Rockets GM Daryl Morey asked a radio host for tougher questions, leading to him admitting the team probably won’t win the NBA championship next year.

Morey had finished introducing Jeremy Lin as the newest member of the Rockets when he joined “The J&R Show” with Josh Innes and Rich Lord on Sports Radio 610 in Houston Thursday. The GM fielded a fair amount of questions about the team before telling Innes to ask tougher questions. Innes obliged and began peppering Morey about the Rockets’ status as a near-.500 team the past three seasons, and Morey’s job security. That’s when things got tense and Morey admitted the reality of the team’s status.

“29 out of 30 teams every year are disappointed so you can move yourself to any freaking city and make that same comment,” he said in response to Innes, who pointed out that the team doesn’t appear to be close to winning a title.

“So you’re brilliant,” Morey continued. “We’re probably not going to win the title next year. You can be in almost any NBA city and you’re going to be right about that, so that’s a great comment,” he said sarcastically.

Morey also scoffed at the suggestion that the Rockets struggle to attract free agents.

“[The thought is] so wrong it’s almost laughable,” Morey said. “We might be behind one or two other cities, but after that you’ve got great weather during the season, you’ve got no (state) income tax, you’ve got an organization that’s in the top five in winning the last 20 years, multiple titles, top defensively, always had great coaches, always had great players. It’s a very easy sell and I absolutely disagree that Houston has any issues. I actually think it’s quite a bit of an edge that we’re situated in Houston.”

Morey took the entire interview and tough questions in stride, and he didn’t seem to be as nervous as the hosts when things got tense. But I have to side with the hosts on this matter. The one playoff series win in a 15-year span is a pretty telling stat. The Rockets are an average team that’s nowhere near winning a title (Morey says they’re positioning themselves to win a championship). They need to have an MVP-caliber player in order to be a championship contender, and the highest chance for the Rockets to land a player that good is by picking in the top two in the draft on a year where there are franchise-changers.

So yes, I said it, if you’re in the middle of the pack, you might as well blow it up in most cases and hope to draft a franchise changer like an Anthony Davis. The Rockets don’t have a cornerstone like that, and that’s why they’ve been pushing hard to acquire Dwight Howard. Morey’s recognizes that and is willing to take risks (like releasing Luis Scola) for the chance to be great because he doesn’t want to be an average team.

Below is audio of the interview:

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