Rockets owner, Tilman Fertitta, says Mike D’Antoni will be the head coach of the Rockets next season, the last year of his current contract.
The 2018-19 season was definitely a disappointing one for the Houston Rockets.
Run It Back was a rallying cry for the team all season, but Golden State ran the Rockets out of their own building in Game 6 to close out the series in just the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. Kevin Durant missing Game 6 with a calf injury just threw salt in Houston’s wound.
After coming up short at the hands of Golden State once again, some fans think a change in coaching is necessary. The Rockets were built to take down the Warriors, so if they failed, the team should look for a new play caller.
However, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has made it perfectly clear that Mike D’Antoni will return for a fourth season as head coach for the Houston Rockets, via the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen.
“Mike will be the coach next year. He’s not a lame duck to me. That’s just a media term. That’s just a media buzzword.”
“Mike is going to be 69 years old (next May) and Mike doesn’t know totally what he wants to do, yet. We’ll sit down with Mike in the next few weeks and talk with him. We’re more concerned with making our team better next year. Mike will be here. I like Mike. I think he’s a very good coach. Players like playing for him. I keep being told, free agents want to know who the owner is and they want to know who the coach is. Mike and I do well together. Hopefully, we’ll continue to win and Mike will be here for a long time.”
D’Antoni definitely deserves another shot next year. The Rockets have won at least 53 games in all three seasons under D’Antoni, and they won a franchise record 65 games in the 2017-18 season. They’ve also made the Western Conference Semifinals in each season, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2018.
Say what you want about Houston’s iso ball and reliance on the 3-point shot. Houston has easily been the biggest threat to the Kevin Durant-era Warriors, and with better luck, the Rockets could have won a championship in 2018.
With D’Antoni in line for another season, the front office can turn their attention to building a better team for next season.