Mike D’Antoni gets real about his future after Rockets’ playoff exit
There is a lot of uncertainty about Mike D’Antoni’s future as head coach of the Houston Rockets following another disappointing playoff exit. Nonetheless, the 69-year old admitted that his coaching days aren’t through just yet.
Via Rockets beat writer Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle:
D’Antoni was sure of one thing: “I will continue coaching for sure.” https://t.co/J3fnIAptaX
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) September 13, 2020
While D’Antoni didn’t make any commitments or indications that he will be back on the sidelines for the Rockets, he did express his admiration for the organization, the city of Houston, and the fans.
D’Antoni’s contract with Houston expires following this season. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and the two-time NBA Coach of the Year tried to negotiate on an extension last year. However, both parties failed to come to an agreement.
Daryl Morey previously stated that one of Houston’s top priorities this summer is to retain D’Antoni. But given the way Houston’s season ended, it would not be surprising to see if the organization heads in another direction. Though D’Antoni holds an impressive regular season record of 217-102 through his four years with the Rockets, they failed to reach their ultimate goal of winning a championship.
Nonetheless, the Mullins, West Virginia native still led the Rockets to the postseason in each of his four seasons. Houston went as far as the second round each year, which included a Western Conference Finals run in 2018, where they blew a 3-2 series against the eventual champion Golden State Warriors.
Should D’Antoni and the Rockets part ways this off-season, expect a lot of teams to call the seven-seconds-or-less coach right away. Teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Oklahoma City Thunder still have head coaching vacancies, and they should strongly consider D’Antoni to be their next mentor on the sidelines next season.
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