Daryl Morey, like any team president with title hopes, has plenty to worry about—injuries, egos, scheming rivals, salary-cap arcana—so his first major decision in Philadelphia needed to be simple and unequivocal, lest it consume too much mental energy. He chose Pat’s over Geno’s, and he hasn’t looked back since.
“I’m going to offend everyone in Philadelphia,” Morey says sheepishly, “because honestly I went to Pat’s just on accident, in the first few days I was here. It just happened to be the one I drove past, and I was, ‘Oh, I’ve heard of that one, I’ll try it.’ And it was very good. And now it’s almost like a duck getting imprinted to its mother.”
Morey, who was hired by the 76ers last November, surely understands the perils of wading into Philly’s cheesesteak wars, but given the wild success of his team so far— a 24-12 record at the All-Star break, tops in the Eastern Conference—one assumes the locals will grant him some leniency.
“But you know, everyone here has an opinion,” Morey says. “I’m sure I’ve lost all street cred in Philadelphia right now. I just keep ordering Pat’s, because I'm like, ‘Oh, Pat’s is good,’ so why mess with it?”
(Author’s note: I’m partial to Jim’s on South Street, because the first time I went they used real cheese, instead of the gross canned stuff, and so I declared them the “healthy choice.” I will be taking no questions at this time.)
Really, it’s hard to argue with any choices Morey has made in the last five months. He left the Rockets in October, after 13 years as general manager, avoiding the franchise meltdown that commenced shortly thereafter, with Russell Westbrook and James Harden demanding trades. He joined the Sixers two weeks later, inheriting a talent-rich roster featuring young All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The roster did need some tweaks, and the ones Morey made—trading starters Al Horford and Josh Richardson for shooters Danny Green and Seth Curry—have worked out brilliantly, giving the Sixers’ stars more room to operate.