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Houston Rockets Rumors: Mike D'Antoni unlikely to return as head coach next season

  • Mike D'Antoni is in the final year of his contract with the Houston Rockets after failing to agree on an extension in the summer.
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:17 IST

Mike D
Mike D'Antoni is in the final year of his contract with the Houston Rockets

If you're a keen observer of the Houston Rockets, you're probably well aware of the public dispute between owner Tilman Fertitta and head coach Mike D'Antoni over a contract extension. There seems to have been no improvements on this end as Sam Amick and John Hollinger of The Athletic have now reported that chances of D'Antoni returning next season are seen as 'slim' as per their sources.

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The report further mentions that only a championship win for the Rockets could perhaps force Fertitta into meeting D'Antoni's demands and giving him an extension.

D'Antoni's contract saga

Earlier in June this year, D'Antoni wanted to get an extension but the two parties did not come to terms with the 2017 NBA Coach of the Year rejecting the Rockets' latest offer. Fertitta didn't help the cause either when he mentioned that D'Antoni's agent Warren LeGarie did them a favor:

"I think his agent did me a favor, okay? Because if for some reason we had a horrible year and thought we needed to make a coaching change. We just got through paying off one of the other coaches, I believe. So, I hope we win a championship and Mike comes and puts a gun to my head, okay?"

What this means for D'Antoni and the rest of the NBA

As far as D'Antoni is concerned, he knows what he needs to do in order to mend his relationship with Houston's upper echelon. At 15-7, the Rockets are currently 4th in the Western Conference standings and while you can't rule out the possibility of James Harden and co. going all the way, the team still does need a lot of work.

In the meantime, this also means that D'Antoni could be available next summer. So front offices of NBA franchises are bound to be interested in how the saga unfolds.

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Published 09 Dec 2019, 21:37 IST
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