Rockets’ Daryl Morey reacts to Mike D’Antoni’s decision to possibly skip coaching in Orlando
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has provided a definitive statement with regards to the team’s stance on head coach Mike D’Antoni potentially not joining the Rockets in the Orlando bubble.
D’Antoni is currently the second oldest coach in the league at 69, and there have been legitimate concerns about the veteran coach being vulnerable to the coronavirus because of his age. Earlier, NBA commissioner Adam Silver made a statement on not allowing “older coaches” to take part in the bubble — something he backtracked on shortly after. As for Morey, he is adamant that the league should not be in any position to prevent Mike D’Antoni from coaching his team.
“Mike will be coaching our team,” Morey said, via Jackie MacMullan of ESPN. “It would be such a huge disadvantage to lose him. We would never stand for that.
“In fairness to the league, they set up a process whereby everyone will have to submit a medical record. I’m sure the doctors told them that some people over a certain age shouldn’t go. But Mike is in great health. He’s in better shape than some 40-year-old coaches we have. Besides, I think his dad lived to be 108 or something.”
At the end of the day, however, one’s health and well-being always comes first before basketball. Nonetheless, it’s not as if Morey is forcing D’Antoni to do something against his own will. D’Antoni himself intimated that he has every intention to join his squad in Orlando.
“I guess they were thinking it could affect us a little bit more because of our age,” D’Antoni said, “but we would catch it at the same rate as any player would. If it’s not safe for us, then it’s not safe for them.