It turns out that his own franchise’s belief in D’Antoni appears to be wavering, which is a far worse predicament. The Rockets insist otherwise — publicly and privately. Tilman Fertitta, Houston’s owner, and General Manager Daryl Morey both say they want D’Antoni to continue coaching and have forcefully rejected suggestions circulating in the coaching community that they are trying to nudge D’Antoni toward the exit without actually firing him.
The Rockets pitched D’Antoni a mere one-year, $5 million extension on top of next season’s $4.5 million salary — with only half of the $5 million guaranteed. Those figures are well below market value for a coach who has helped establish the Rockets as the foremost threat to Golden State over the past two seasons — or, shall we say, the Warriors’ biggest problem until they encountered the Toronto Raptors and an injury list that just keeps swelling.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey clarified Monday that the team’s offer to coach Mike D’Antoni for the 2020-21 season never would have paid him less than the $5 million base salary Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta had described last week. Morey had previously confirmed a Houston Chronicle report on Friday that D’Antoni would be paid $2.5 million if the team failed to make the playoffs or if he was fired during that season. D’Antoni’s agent Warren LeGarie said the coach would not get the full $5 million if that were the case. However, the $2.5 million would only be if the Rockets did not bring him back for the 2020-21 season.
The $2.5 million, in the event D’Antoni was not brought back for 2020-2021, would not have an offset should he then choose to coach another team. In such a case, he would make the $2.5 million from the Rockets plus whatever he would earn from another team. D’Antoni, who had rejected the extension offer, will coach the 2019-20 season in the final year of his original four-year contract. That is not changed by the negotiations for an extension last week. D’Antoni is set to make $4.5 million next season. The Rockets extension offer included a $1 million bonus for each round of the playoffs the team won as D’Antoni’s agent said Friday and Morey confirmed.
The contract offer made to D’Antoni was considerably smaller than the $5 million that had been depicted by owner Tilman Fertitta and general manager Daryl Morey in a hastily called news conference Thursday, according to D’Antoni’s agent, leading to the decision to turn it down and coach next season in the final year of his current contract, which pays $4.5 million. Warren LeGarie said that the Rockets’ offer would not be worth $5 million in the 2020-21 season if the Rockets failed to make the playoffs or D’Antoni was fired during the season.
“I’d like clear up some inaccuracies that were stated about the offer made to Mike,” LeGarie said. “The reported $5 million is really $2.5 million because it comes with contingencies. One, it’s only $5 million if he makes the playoffs and two, if he is coaching the team at the end of the year. “If they decide to fire Mike in the proverbial change of direction he gets $2.5 million. If there is an injury or a change in the roster construction, of which Mike has no control, he nonetheless would become a victim of it.”
LeGarie emphasized that D’Antoni was in no way “insulted” by the offer. “We’re not here to criticize the offer,” LeGarie said. “We’re here to choose whether or not to accept it. We chose based on the current market for coaches of his stature as well as what he has done for the Rockets, the offer did not make sense for him, though I’m sure it makes sense for the Rockets. We don’t consider the offer insulting. It’s still real money. But it is our right not to take it.”
Mark Berman: . @TilmanJFertitta will work to extend Mike D'Antoni's contract after next season if #Rockets r successful. Mike has 1 year left on his deal: "Mike's our coach..I would prefer him to work with at least a 2-year contract. His agent decided that's not the way they wanted it to work"
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said D'Antoni was offered a $5 million one-year extension with an additional $1 million per round he won. The base salary is a slight raise, but under the current market of recent veteran coaches (Stotts, Casey, etc.)
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.
I can confirm through multiple sources that the decision to pick up D’Antoni’s option next season was owner Tilman Fertitta’s, NOT Morey’s. It should also be noted that the decision to hire D’Antoni was former owner Les Alexander’s. This story is interesting from all three perspectives. From Morey’s perspective, he has to feel that an NBA executive with his pedigree should be able to hire the head coach to coach his team.
Mike D’Antoni said negotiations are taking place that he is hopeful will keep him in Houston beyond next season. D’Antoni has one year left on his Rockets deal. “We’ve been in contract discussions and we still are about the extension,” D’Antoni said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. “I think I can go two or three more years at the level I want to be at and everything will play out in the near future.”
D’Antoni said a lot of work has already been done toward completing a contract extension. “It’s a good ways (into it). I don’t do it. That’s my agent. He takes care of that stuff. They’ve been discussing it for a long time now. It just hasn’t been a couple weeks. It’s been awhile that they’ve been talking. So they’ll figure it out. “Everybody likes security. It’s just a matter of okay this is the direction the organization wants to go. I want to be a part of it. It’s just normal business and we just got to take care of business.”
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
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said negotiations are taking place that he is hopeful will keep him in Houston beyond next season. D’Antoni has one year left on his Rockets deal. “We’ve been in contract discussions and we still are about the extension,” D’Antoni said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. “I think I can go two or three more years at the level I want to be at and everything will play out in the near future.”
D’Antoni said a lot of work has already been done toward completing a contract extension. “It’s a good ways (into it). I don’t do it. That’s my agent. He takes care of that stuff. They’ve been discussing it for a long time now. It just hasn’t been a couple weeks. It’s been awhile that they’ve been talking. So they’ll figure it out.”
Alykhan Bijani: PJ Tucker on MDA: “I think it will get done (contract extension). Everyone loves him, I think it will get done, he’s my guy”
The Houston Rockets and coach Mike D'Antoni have had preliminary discussions on the framework of a contract extension that would keep the two-time NBA Coach of the Year from entering the final year of his deal.
"I've let (GM) Daryl (Morey) and (owner) Tilman (Fertitta) know that I'm energized to keep coaching --- and believe that I can continue to do this at a high-level for at least another three years," D'Antoni, 68, told ESPN on Sunday night. "I want be part of a championship here."
The Rockets picked up their option on the final season of D'Antoni's contract, keeping him under contract through the 2019-20 season. But Morey said he would like to work on an extension for D'Antoni in the offseason. "He's such a critical factor," Morey said. "Speaking for myself only, I would love for him to be here for as long as he wants to be here. He's so critical to everything we're doing here. Hopefully, that's something we can work out at the right time. I think the right thing for everyone is those things are done in the off-season."
Mark Berman: Mike D'Antoni on #Rockets owner @TilmanJFertitta picking up the 2019-20 option on his contract: "It just makes things simpler. Just 1 other thing I don't have to think about. You're always grateful..I want to stay as long as I can. This adds 1 more...He's been great. He's all in"
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets announce D'Antoni's extension. Fertitta: "It did not take long for me to see that he is the perfect fit for our organization. We are thrilled to have Coach D’Antoni continue to push the Rockets towards our goal of winning a championship.”
Newly hired Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni has signed a three-year contract in the $15 million range with a team option for a fourth season, according to a source. D'Antoni's contract is similar to that of New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, who, according to ESPN sources, signed a three-year deal for $15 million on Wednesday. Unlike D'Antoni, Hornacek doesn't have a team option for a fourth season. In the past two years, Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has distributed significant money to coaches. In December 2014, Alexander gave Kevin McHale a three-year fully guaranteed contract extension worth $12 million.
August 17, 2022 | 3:21 pm EDT Update
Ben Golliver: New this year: “NBA Rivals Week” 11 rivalry games from Jan. 24-28: – Celtics/Heat – Clippers/Lakers – Nets/76ers – Grizzlies/Warriors – Lonzo Ball/LaMelo Ball – Suns/Mavericks – Timberwolves/Grizzlies – Raptors/Warriors – Nikola Jokic/Joel Embiid – Knicks/Nets – Lakers/Celtics
Tim Reynolds: The pre-Election Night games — Nov. 7 — all have 15 different start times. The NBA will stagger them from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., each starting on 15-minute intervals (7, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45 and so on … )
August 17, 2022 | 3:11 pm EDT Update
The NBA today released its complete game schedule and broadcast schedules for TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV and ESPN Radio for the 2022-23 regular season. The complete schedule and team-by-team schedules are available at NBA.com/schedule.