Rumor: Some in coaching community wonder if Rockets are trying to push Mike D’Antoni out
Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni is expected to return next season despite getting booted out by the Golden State Warriors again this year. However, the Rockets are making changes in his coaching staff, which is puzzling some people in the coaching community.
According the Marc Stein of The New York Times, some in the coaching community are thinking that the Rockets are trying to force D’Antoni to call it quits. This after several members of his coaching staff were let go over the past several weeks.
It started when Jeff Bzdelik was handed his pink slip after the Rockets lost to the Warriors in the 2019 NBA Western Conference semifinals. It can be remembered that Bzdelik ended his retirement earlier in the season, answering to the clamor for his return because of the lackluster defensive showing of the team.
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets also parted ways with four other members of the coaching staff. Assistant coach Roy Rogers, assistant coach Mitch Vanya, video coordinator John Cho, and player development assistant Irv Roland were informed that they will not be returning next season.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Rockets will commit to a long-term deal with D’Antoni. Earlier reports indicated that Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta wants to keep D’Antoni, and the veteran coach is looking for at least a three-year extension on top of his contract for the 2019-20 NBA season.