Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni officially headed to Orlando despite age concerns
Amid concerns about his age vis-à-vis well-being, Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni is heading to the Orlando bubble location to helm James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and crew.
Per Tim MacMahon of ESPN, D’Antoni was on the team flight bound to the Orlando campus.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, 69, is on the team flight en route to Orlando, a source told ESPN. He has said recently that his medical screenings didn’t raise any red flags and that he planned to coach as usual, other than wearing a mask.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 9, 2020
Mike D’Antoni, 69-years-old, is one of the oldest coaches in the NBA. According to health experts, those 65-years-old and above are the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Earlier on, there were some controversies if coaches 65 and above were allowed to go to the bubble.
Apart from D’Antoni, New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry (65) and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich (71) belong to the vulnerable group. They have all been cleaned by the league after a comprehensive screening process.
In an interview with Adam Spolane of SportsRadio 610, D’Antoni noted that he has not “apprehension” coaching the Rockets in the bubble location despite his age. He said that he’s been wearing a mask while doing chores. As such, he believes that this won’t be a hindrance during the Rockets’ playoff run.
“I have no apprehension, because I know what I’ll do to prevent [contracting COVID-19]. I know the NBA will do everything they can do avoid it.”
“The big thing is, you wear a mask for other people. I do it for my players, I do it for my coaches, I do it for the people that I care about, so i wear a mask. And that’s what I do walking down the street here, going into a grocery store.”
Mike D’Antoni says he plans on wearing a mask on the bench during games in Orlando pic.twitter.com/DtLp0fmKHY
— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) July 7, 2020
The Mavs will face the Dallas Mavericks in their first game back, followed by the Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, and the San Antonio Spurs.
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