Russell Westbrook and James Harden are joining forces in Houston, and it’s up to head coach Mike D’Antoni to make the pairing work.
With that tall task on the front burner, D’Antoni is tabling his push for a new contract extension.
“It’s not even something we’re considering right now,” D’Antoni’s agent Warren LeGarie told SiriusXM on Tuesday. “We have a contract.”
D’Antoni, 68, has one season remaining on his existing deal and has said he wants to coach three more years. He said in May he was talking with the team about a new contract, but things seemed to have taken a turn for the worse when the team fired several of D’Antoni’s assistants.
D’Antoni has a wildly impressive 173-73 mark during the regular season in his three years with the team, but the Rockets have been ousted from the playoffs by the Warriors the last two seasons, losing a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference finals last season and then falling to a hobbled Golden State squad, 4-2, in the semifinals this season.
Now with a new superstar in the Houston mix and the Western Conference seemingly wide-open, D’Antoni says he’s excited to get back to work.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) July 17, 2019
“Whenever you have great talent, it’s exciting because it gives you a chance to win, and that’s what we all want to do,” D’Antoni said on The Woj Pod. “But it’ll be my job to maximize their talents and what they do best, and it should be really good.
“I saw it in USA Basketball. You put [the stars] all together and they want to make it work, it doesn’t matter. The more talent you have, the better it is. And I think right now with this duo and other people, it’ll work. Now, to what degree, we’ll see.”