Rockets’ No. 1 offseason priority is coach Mike D’Antoni
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni’s contract will expire at the end of the season. While signing him is the number priority of the Rockets, sources reveal that the decision ultimately belongs to D’Antoni.
According to NBA reporter Jared Greenberg, a source close to D’Antoni said that the coach is pleased that Daryl Morey and the Rockets want him back. However, this is still not a hundred percent assurance that he’ll return as the head coach. D’Antoni still has to decide if he wants to return.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 9, 2020
Contract negotiations between D’Antoni and the Rockets started in the offseason. But the talks were halted as both parties failed to come to an agreement. However, with another offseason just a few months away, talks are brewing once again.
D’Antoni was named the franchise head coach in 2016. He has guided the team to the playoffs every year since then, turning the Rockets into one of the best teams in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
This postseason marks their fifth consecutive Western Conference Semifinals appearance. Perhaps the hallmark of D’Antoni’s coaching stint came in 2018 when they made it to the Western Conference Finals. Against the powerhouse Golden State Warriors squad, the Rockets stretched the series to seven games. Unfortunately, lady luck suddenly left their side as they struggled all game long.
Despite the heartbreaking loss against the Bay Area dynasty, the Rockets have remained perennial playoff contenders up until today. This is the main reason why they would love to have D’Antoni back in the fold.