Houston Rockets: Tilman Fertitta talks D’Antoni’s future, team expectations
Mike D’Antoni here to stay?
Fertitta was asked by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith to explain his thoughts on coach Mike D’Antoni and had the below to say:
“Mike D’Antoni is a great coach and he fits our team. Let’s not talk situational. I think we’re gonna have a great year and Mike and I are gonna sit down and I think MDA will be the coach this year and next year and probably the year after that. But we need to be successful too and I think we will be and I don’t even think it’s gonna be an issue. Mike is the right guy for James and Russell Westbrook.”
This is arguably the most interesting thing Fertitta said on the show, as there have been questions regarding the uncertainty and future of current coach Mike D’Antoni. If you recall, the Rockets weren’t able to come to terms on an agreement with “MDA” and it was Fertitta who pushed back on the narrative of this being a “lame duck” season for D’Antoni. In fact, Fertitta took the stance that D’Antoni will need to coach out the final year of his contract.
It had to be a confidence boost for D’Antoni to hear Fertitta say he’ll probably be the Rockets coach for the next three years. It’s also interesting to hear Fertitta acknowledge that D’Antoni fits the Rockets team and is the right coach to pair Harden and Westbrook with. But it also came with a caveat, as Fertitta said they “have to be successful,” which he previously noted he defines as no less than a Western Conference Finals appearance. Regardless, this has been the softest stance Fertitta has had on D’Antoni all off-season, and the right one also.
Next: Expectations for 2020 season