Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni represents concern of resuming season

Houston Rockets Mike D'Antoni (Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Mike D'Antoni (Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Although the NBA is desperately trying to salvage the season, Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni represents a potential concern of resuming the season.

We’ve all been starving for sports action during this sports hiatus, which has made six weeks feel like six years. We’ve been especially deprived of basketball action, as we’d be well into the second round of the NBA playoffs by now. How would the Houston Rockets have fared against the Denver Nuggets? The Nuggets would’ve been the Rockets’ first opponent based on the current playoff seedings, and the Rockets have been too much for the Nuggets to handle as of late.

We’ve heard that the NBA is open to doing whatever it deems necessary to resume the season and get the playoffs kickstarted, and the latest reports are that the league would need 1500 total personnel in order to execute the “bubble idea” that’s been floated around. It’s been stated that NBA commissioner Adam Silver believes it would take up to 90 days to crown a champion, which shows the level of extent which the league has thought into these plans and ideas.

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But with the optimism and positive signs has also come pessimism, as expressed by ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, who stated that many GM’s around the league are worried about some of the older coaches, which brings Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni to the forefront of the conversation. At 68 years-of-age, MDA is one of the oldest head coaches in the league. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is 71-years-old, but if the league decides to start the playoffs based on the current standings, the Spurs wouldn’t be in the postseason anyways.

If there was a concern about older coaches on playoff teams, D’Antoni would seem to be the name people would bring up most, but there are assistant coaches across the league who are either older than MDA or just as old as him. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eight out of the 10 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years old and older, which is a harsh reality.

There are several reasons why the COVID-19 has affected the older generation more, and it’s because the body’s immune response changes with age and they are most likely to suffer from conditions that affect the body’s ability to recover from illness. This is all coming from Vineet Menachery, who is an immunologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch, who studies the effect of coronaviruses on aging immune systems.

But it’s not so much about the age as it is about the pre-existing health condition of the individual, as stated by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“If you look at the people who wind up getting into serious difficulty and even dying, that’s very heavily weighted toward individuals with underlying conditions, particularly the elderly,” said Fauci.

Fauci later added, “You might have somebody who is 70 years old that’s healthy and you may have somebody that’s 60 that’s weak and frail,” Fauci said.

The latter point is important, because from what we know about Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, he’s a perfectly healthy individual. So he, in particular, may not pose as much of a risk as someone with an extensive history of health challenges.

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All in all, this is yet another obstacle the NBA will have as it pertains to identifying a safe way to resume the season, and this is certainly a valid concern.