The Pacers are said to have serious interest in hiring D’Antoni to replace the suddenly ousted Nate McMillan, which would give a needed jolt to Oladipo and Myles Turner. But there’s no guarantee they get D’Antoni — even with his contract in Houston about to expire and pressure mounting on the Rockets’ coach with a Game 7 looming Wednesday night against Chris Paul and the Thunder.
It's no secret that there is a strong probability that the Rockets will have a new head coach next season. That's been widely known since contract extension talks with Mike D'Antoni broke down (twice) in unusually public fashion. There are rumblings around the league that general manager Daryl Morey's job status could be in jeopardy as well, but owner Tilman Fertitta was adamant he wouldn't consider firing Morey (who has several years remaining on his contract) after the tweet that caused the Rockets and league's relationship with China to deteriorate, and Fertitta hasn't wavered on that stance. You can never be sure, especially if Morey is at the wheel, but the Rockets' core likely returns intact next season regardless of the results in Orlando.
Sam Amick: But again, who the hell knows on the back end, but Jeff Van Gundy's name is the one that I heard consistently as a very possible replacement for Mike and, and it's interesting to see Thibs' name in there now because you got a guy who was Jeff's top assistant when Jeff was the Rockets coach and a guy who, you know, in terms of like the optics around Tom, it's been a bit of a roller coaster the past couple of years, you know, he was labeled, essentially, like, kind of a dinosaur who was too tough on his players and did not assimilate with today's NBA.
Sam Amick: So, you know, Van Gundy and Thibs being from the same tree, whatever happens next, I think you are starting to get a sense of what might be prioritized, obviously defense first, discipline... Now, you know, it's trying to juxtapose that reconcile that with James Harden in particular, you know, with Thibs or Van Gundy is barking at him on the on the defensive side. I mean, there's a lot we could get into there. But right now, that's probably how I see it.
Sam Amick: As I reported a couple months ago, barring a championship, if they do save the season, I do not get the sense that Mike D’Antoni is going to be back. You've had a major divide in the contract negotiations.
If the Rockets fail to advance deep into the postseason, the consensus is that D'Antoni returning would be unlikely. People around the league are less certain about general manager Daryl Morey's future, though.
“You tell me what coach in the N.B.A. is not on the hot seat,” said D’Antoni, who is in the final season of his original four-year Rockets deal. “They’re all on the hot seat. You’re always on it. That’s life. It doesn’t affect me.”
Salman Ali: Mike D'Antoni on if he was on the hot seat going into the last year of his contract: "You tell me what coach in the NBA is not on the hot street. They're all on the hot seat. You're always on it. That's life. It doesn't affect me."
Mark Berman: Mike D'Antoni says fact he'll coach the #Rockets during the final year of his deal after ending extension talks doesn't mean he won't be back after next season:"It doesn't preclude anything. Today we couldn't see eye to eye on things.We'll finish the year out & see where it goes"
Mark Berman: NBA sources confirm Mike D'Antoni has ended talks concerning a contract extension with the #Rockets and will continue as the team's head coach in the final year of his deal during the 2019-20 season. Reported first by @Adrian Wojnarowski
Mark Berman: Mike D'Antoni on ending extension talks with the #Rockets; "We couldn't come to terms. I'm looking forward to next year w/ a lot of enthusiasm & we're gonna have a great year (w/ the Rockets). I've got 1 year left with my contract & I'm real excited about coming back & coaching."
Mark Berman: Mike D'Antoni says he'll have no issues coaching the #Rockets with 1 year left on his contract: "No, no, there are no problems. It doesn't make me coach any different or have any more worries. So no it doesn't cause any problems." D'Antoni has ended extension talks with the team.
Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni has ended talks with management on a contract extension, league sources told ESPN. D'Antoni plans to complete the final season of his deal in 2019-20 -- which could become a pathway to his own free agency the next year. D'Antoni's agent Warren LeGarie informed Rockets general manager Daryl Morey of the coach's decision on Thursday afternoon, sources said.
Sam Amick: While extension talks have ended between Houston coach Mike D’Antoni and the Rockets, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA he’s still expected to be there next season and all involved parties still want him on board. ESPN first reported the end of the talks.
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
Mark Berman: Daryl Morey:"I think there's been a lot of teams that have been 11 & 14 & turned things around. Coach had a couple tough starts n his career he's talked to us &the team about.1 of those years he went on 2win 60games..We have the ability to do it.We got to put it on the floor now"
January 23, 2021 | 8:06 pm EST Update
Ryan Saunders will remain coach of the woeful Minnesota Timberwolves, at least until he gets an opportunity to coach a stretch with star Karl-Anthony Towns in the regular lineup. “I haven’t even talked to (basketball president Gersson Rosas) about that — he hasn’t brought it up, but you’re asking me, and it’s probably hard to tell a guy that you aren’t doing the job when your best guy isn’t playing,” Wolves owner Glen Taylor said Saturday from his home in Mankato.
Taylor could make a popular diversity statement by naming hard-driving Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve to coach the Wolves. “I kid her about that, but I’m not making any changes — I’m talking to Cheryl, and we’re trying to put a really good team together for the Lynx right now,” Taylor said. “She’s planning on coaching them. “But,” Taylor added, “she’s an interesting person, isn’t she?”
For most of a year, Taylor has explored a sale of the Wolves and Lynx. How’s that coming? “Well, it’s not coming is the best way to say it,” Taylor said. “I haven’t found anything that for sure says I should move ahead.” Taylor’s price tag for the Wolves and Lynx is estimated to be in the $1.5 billion range. With NBA expansion — Las Vegas and Seattle have been mentioned — current team owners could each be in for a reported $160 million expansion fee windfall. “Obviously I’m aware of that — you’ve got to pick your time,” Taylor said, adding that no definite decision for expansion has been made. “The other question: Is now a good time to sell when you don’t have fans? And it’s not a good time.”