Tilman Fertitta upset that Mike D’Antoni’s contract feud played out publicly
Over the last week, extension talks between Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni and the organization have come to screeching halt.
D’Antoni was rumored to be looking for a long-term contract with the West Coast powerhouse, but the Rockets seemed hesitant to make such an offer.
Owner Tilman Fertitta is furious that the contract negotiations came to light, preferring to keep such information in-house:
Fertitta adds that he’s upset about the way D’Antoni’s contract situation played out so publicly in the media.
— Stefano Fusaro (@FusaroESPN) September 27, 2019
Even though the two sides could not come to terms in the offseason, Fertitta is still enthusiastic about Mike D’Antoni and his ability to lead the revamped Rockets team:
Owner Tilman Fertitta: “Everybody tells me that Mike is the right guy for this team. Mike appears to me to be the right guy for this team. … I think he’s a great coach. He’s one of the great offensive minds out there. I truly do not see Mike going anywhere.” https://t.co/RISxYLfixk
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) September 27, 2019
For his part, the Rockets head coach is ready to get down to business, even though his contract is looming at the end of the season:
D’Antoni on his contract situation: “We’ve dealt with it and we’ll go forward.” Said it’s time for him to coach the #Rockets and he’s excited to coach this team. Next time contract could be addressed would be after this season.
— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) September 27, 2019
D’Antoni is already considered to be an excellent offensive-minded coach from his earlier days coaching the Phoenix Suns. His ‘Seven Seconds or Less’ playbook made the Steve Nash-led Suns an offensive force few teams could keep up with.
Now, D’Antoni has a new player to unleash in the form of Russell Westbrook.
While his previous point guard, Chris Paul, was an excellent player, he wasn’t exactly known for his speed and athleticism.
Westbrook, on the other hand, embodies what D’Antoni’s offenses looked like in the past, minus the dead-eye three-point shooting ability.
Even though he didn’t lock up a massive contract in the offseason, look for Mike D’Antoni to be just as determined to milk this Rockets team for every ounce of talent on the roster. Perhaps the non-extension will even motivate him further.
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