Speculation building that Houston is trying to force Mike D’Antoni out the door
A number of the Houston Rockets coaching staff will reportedly not return with the team next season, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle reported.
Assistant coach Roy Rogers won't return to Rockets https://t.co/LfwuW0G5nk
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) May 24, 2019
This series of moves by the Rockets has led to some speculation around the league that organization is trying to push the former Coach of the Year out the door, as reported by Marc Stein of The New York Times.
New owner Tilman Fertitta told @Jonathan_Feigen earlier this month he intends to keep Mike D'Antoni as Houston's coach, but the flurry of changes imposed on D'Antoni's staff has some in the coaching community wondering if the Rockets are trying to nudge D'Antoni toward the exit https://t.co/aeTgeUpkHx
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 25, 2019
Reports came out last week the Rockets would not bring back defensive coordinator Jeff Bzdelik back next season.
Now, they reportedly will also not renew the contracts of assistants Roy Rogers and Mitch Vanya, video coordinator John Cho, and player development coach Irv Roland.
These are confusing times in Houston. Reports surfaced over the past few days that Chris Paul and James Harden had a verbal spat following their Western semis loss to Golden State. Likewise, Paul also reportedly asked D’Antoni to incorporate more movement into their offense. Surely, these reports are not helping send away the gray clouds hovering over H-Town.
Nonetheless, D’Antoni has expressed his desire to sign a long-term deal with the Rockets, preferably two to three years. However, these depleting moves on his staff might just make him re-consider.
The Rockets repeated playoff woes at the hands of the Golden State Warriors are not D’Antoni’s fault. In fact, his offensive mastery is responsible for getting them to this level as championship contenders. It’s just unfortunate that they keep running in to an all-time team like the Warriors.
The Rockets sputtered out of the gates this season, but recovered to finish with the fourth seed in the West. They strolled through Utah in the first round to set up another classic series with the Warriors.
Unfortunately, the Rockets could not take advantage of a Kevin Durant-less Warriors in the second half of Game 5 and the entirety of Game 6 as they bowed out of the playoffs in disappointing fashion, losing 4-2 in the second round.