Mike D’Antoni jokes about Chris Paul’s short time with Rockets ahead of game vs. Thunder
The Houston Rockets-Chris Paul divorce was an ugly one, to say the least.
Paul reportedly had issues with star backcourt mate James Harden. And he also didn’t like the style of offense employed by Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni. While D’Antoni’s style nearly took them to the NBA Finals in 2018 (hindered by Paul’s injury) Paul was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder unceremoniously.
D’Antoni made a joke about Paul’s tenure with the Rockets as they prepare to face Paul’s Thunder. D’Antoni alluded to Paul’s quick tenure with the Rockets, stating he’s more used to him being a Los Angeles Clipper.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni on if it’ll be weird facing Chris Paul in a Thunder uniform after playing two seasons in Houston. Mike: “He didn’t wear them that long. I was used to him being a Clipper.”
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 27, 2019
The matchup will be the first of three for the Thunder and Rockets this season. As for Paul, the trade to the Thunder worked out for both teams. The Rockets got Russell Westbrook in his prime to complement Harden. The Thunder received Paul, a veteran point guard who will lead a Thunder roster with extreme promise.
The Rockets will spend the first part of the season trying to maximize both Westbrook and Harden within D’Antoni’s system. So far, it appears they are close to finding the recipe.
In their first game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Harden finished the game with 19 points, seven rebounds, and 14 assists. Westbrook finished with 24 points, 16 rebounds, and seven assists. Against the Pelicans the Rockets yin-yang approach worked again. Westbrook finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists, passing Magic Johnson on the triple-double list. Harden finished his night with 29 points, but only connected on 2 of 18 three-pointers.
As for Paul, he’s only averaging 14 points in his two games of action, but we can rest assured he’s content playing for the Thunder.