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Mike D’Antoni’s pre-Disney World bubble presser filled with quips

Houston Rockets

Mike D’Antoni has waited a long time to see his Houston Rockets take the floor again after the NBA came to a halt on March 11. Yet the longtime coach has not skipped a beat when it comes to his sense of humor.

During his Tuesday media availability with reporters before the Rockets go wheels up to Disney World in Orlando, D’Antoni seemed near-certain he would travel, considering neither the NBA nor the NBPA had kept him from it.

D’Antoni was one of a few coaches over 60 years old that would be at higher risk for contracting the novel coronavirus. The league proposed the potential to coach from afar — something coaches like D’Antoni strongly refuted.

The Rockets coach hasn’t gotten an “all-clear” message yet, but he’s working under the assumption that he will be able to coach as customary:

“I assume — and maybe I shouldn’t assume anything in this world — that I’m going to Orlando,” said D’Antoni, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “I haven’t heard [from the NBA] one way or the other.”

This recent obstacle brought to light the fact that D’Antoni is among the oldest coaches in the league at age 69 — something he was hoping to keep hidden.

“Now everyone knows I’m 69,” said D’Antoni, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “I was trying to keep that quiet.

D’Antoni plans to coach with a mask, the same way he’s been doing so in past weeks. “I do it for my players, coaches, and people that I care about.” The coach noted there are certain advantages to coaching with one, namely that “referees won’t be able to see my lips moving.”

When asked a question of how he will coach while social distancing from others, the Rockets coach saved his best joke for the last minute:

“Well, that’s how we guard anyway.”

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