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Daryl Morey, Mark Cuban continue the blossoming Rockets-Mavericks feud

Daryl Morey fired back at Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's remarks that the Rockets don't value chemistry. Dallas' owner has since responded to the Rockets' general manager.

Bob Levey

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey fired back at Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's critical comments of the Rockets.

Morey challenged the implication Cuban made about the Rockets' overlooking team chemistry, criticizing Cuban for dismantling the 2011 championship team that brought Dallas it's only championship in an interview with Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:

"But let's be clear: If the money's equal between the Rockets and Mavericks, I think players are picking Houston. Every time. For Dwight [Howard], I just don't think it was a hard choice between us and Dallas. If you want to win, you're going to want to join our organization. We have a first-team All-NBA player in his prime [James Harden]. They have an enormously talented superstar [Dirk Nowitzki] but he obviously isn't 24 years old...

"Our teams have had great chemistry, and it's something we believe in. Hey, if Mark believed so much in chemistry, he wouldn't have busted up a title team for cap room. He's trying to reunite a lot of those people now, bringing back the center [Tyson Chandler] from that title team. Maybe he's got some chemistry religion recently.

"He's tripled his analytics staff. If he's equating analytics with not caring about chemistry, well, he's tripling down on it. I think he's smart to paint a competitor in a negative light, but none of those statements are lining up. He says that we're the team that you sign with and then we will trade you, when that's what he said he would've done with Dwight."

Cuban wasted little time responding to Morey, firing back during Mavericks media day:

Cuban took shots at both the Rockets and Dwight Howard last October after the All-Star big man made his decision to join Houston, saying Howard "made a mistake" signing with the franchise. The Mavericks and Rockets have been crossing paths in recent summers as they both chased Howard, Morey took a shot at both signing and trading for Dirk Nowitzki and Cuban swept restricted free agent Chandler Parsons away from Houston. Cuban was critical of the Rockets' reputation for constantly trading players, stating the Mavericks "think chemistry matters" in a radio interview in August:

It says a lot about their approach more than anything else. They just have a different understanding and approach to chemistry than we do. Some teams, and that's not just the Rockets, just put together talent and the talent takes care of itself. We think chemistry matters. When Carmelo came to visit us, there was no chance that we were going to put him in someone else's jersey number and put it on the outside of the arena. That's not our style."

And is this rivalry personal? For Cuban it is, as he revealed in that same interview:

"Oh, all good business is personal. Trust me, there's nobody more competitive than me. Every bit of me wanted to kick his ass and I would have felt bad. Obviously they got Dwight [Howard] a couple of years ago. Yeah, I wanted to beat him. And that's a compliment to him. Daryl is very smart. It was very much like a game of chess."

Texas' most intense basketball rivalry is between an executive and a team owner, and neither of them are shying away from making it public now.