Rockets’ CEO Tad Brown claims they want Mike D’Antoni to be their coach ‘now and in the future’
Houston Rockets CEO Tad Brown was steadfast in his support for head coach Mike D’Antoni during the team’s day of service at the Houston Food Bank on Thursday.
As the team continues to negotiate terms on a contract extension, Tad Brown told Fox 26 Houston Sports Director Mark Berman that the Rockets want Mike D’Antoni to be their coach of the future:
#Rockets CEO @tadbbrown, while taking part in the team's day of service at the @HoustonFoodBank, on Mike D'Antoni: "Coach is the best..We love Mike being our coach now and in the future." pic.twitter.com/BHWraUeVsi
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) June 13, 2019
Following Houston’s loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals, it appeared that the two sides would not engage in extension talks prior to the 2019-20 season, the final year of D’Antoni’s current contract.
However, the organization has made contact with D’Antoni’s representatives in recent weeks, and it now appears that it is only a matter of time before an extension is signed.
D’Antoni faced plenty of criticism after the Rockets failed to get past the Warriors in the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Despite Kevin Durant exiting a pivotal Game 5 due to injury, the Warriors managed to take James Harden out of the game and gain take a 3-2 advantage. In Game 6, Stephen Curry exploded for 33 second-half points while both Harden and Chris Paul struggled to make plays down the stretch.
Some have suggested that Houston’s success is too reliant on Harden and the need to make shots from the perimeter. Houston had a 3-2 lead over the Warriors in the 2018 Western Conference Finals, but lost Game 6 before shooting a woeful 7 of 44 beyond the arc in a Game 7 loss that completed a collapse.
The Rockets face a tough summer with almost zero payroll flexibility, so it is likely that D’Antoni will have to make some coaching adjustments in order to finally get over the hump next season.