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RUMOR: Tilman Ferttita made decision to keep Mike D’Antoni as Rockets coach, not Daryl Morey

Tilman Fertitta, Mike D'Antoni, Rockets

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni appears set to remain at the helm despite getting eliminated by the Golden State Warriors for the second consecutive season.

Following their loss to the Warriors in the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs, there were speculations that D’Antoni will be booted out. The talks about his departure intensified when the Rockets parted ways with assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik, who came out of retirement to help Houston on defense this season.

Rumors also started to spread that the Rockets are forcing D’Antoni out of the door because of their recent coaching moves. Houston informed that assistant coaches Roy Rogers and Mitch Vanya, video coordinator John Cho, and player development coach Irv Roland will not return next season.

However, despite the looming major changes in his coaching staff, D’Antoni will likely stay. According to Landry Locker of Sports Radio 610, the decision to keep D’Antoni was made by Tilman Fertitta and not by general manager Daryl Morey, who was behind the recent firing of the coaching staff members.

I can confirm through multiple sources that the decision to pick up D’Antoni’s option next season was owner Tilman Fertitta’s, NOT Morey’s. It should also be noted that the decision to hire D’Antoni was former owner Les Alexander’s.

D’Antoni still has one year left in his contract with the Rockets. The 68-year-old coach remains optimistic that he will get a contract extension before next season, with previous reports suggesting that he is eyeing a fresh three-year deal with the Rockets.

It remains to be seen how Fertitta favoring D’Antoni will affect Morey’s decisions, especially as it is becoming clear he wants to make major coaching changes.

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