The Houston Rockets announced yesterday that they will be picking up the fourth-year option on head coach Mike D’Antoni’s contract, ensuring that he is now signed through the 2019-2020 season.
NBA sources: The Rockets have picked up the option year on head coach Mike D'Antoni's contract. He originally signed a three year-deal with a team option for a fourth year. So he's now tied to the Rockets through the 2019-2020 season.— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) June 27, 2018
With free agency to begin late Saturday, Rockets pick up option on the fourth year of Mike D'Antoni's contract. Was no uncertainty about his future, but they wanted that question answered.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) June 27, 2018
D’Antoni was hired before the start of the 2016-2017 season, and though the hiring was initially met with some skepticism from Rockets fans, he’s been a smashing success so far in Houston.
D’Antoni has racked up a 120-44 record in his two seasons with the Rockets, and his offensive philosophies have unlocked the mega-star potential in James Harden, who was just named this season’s Most Valuable Player.
D’Antoni himself won coach of the year honors last season, making him just the eighth coach in NBA history to win the honor with two different franchises. He also won it with the Phoenix Suns in 2005.
The Rockets have been among the best offensive teams in league history since D’Antoni’s arrival, and they were also finally among the league’s best defensive teams this season, in which Houston finished with a 65-17 record and the top overall seed in the NBA Playoffs.
A lot of the defensive improvement D’Antoni has credited to assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik, and even though he and several other assistants are only signed through next season, it sounds as if D’Antoni’s extension means they all have a good chance of being offered extensions as well.
Rockets assistants, by the way, are signed just through next season. But with D'Antoni signed for two more, Bzdelik, Rogers and Gunning, who have been a significant part of the Rockets success, can feel some security, if that's possible in that line of work. https://t.co/DpkygAErWV— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) June 27, 2018
Rockets owner Tillman Fertitta had this to say about the D’Antoni fourth-year option:
“The way Mike conducts himself behind the scenes along with the results he brings, 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.”