The Houston Rockets finally signed forward Carmelo Anthony, after a lengthy process that involved a trade, a buyout, tons of speculation, and some financial maneuvering, inking the veteran to a deal on Monday.
Many may recall that Anthony played for Rockets’ head coach Mike D’Antonio before, when the two were in New York with the Knicks, and that didn’t end well, with D’Antoni exiting amid rumors of a rift with Anthony.
D’Antoni is once again at the helm, but this time, he believes that things will be better because he thinks Anthony is a “better fit” for the Rockets than he was with the Knicks, and he doesn’t forsee any issues in coaching the All-Star.
“In New York, when [the Knicks] gave away half the team [to the Nuggets in the 2011 trade for Anthony] and everybody expected us to win a championship, it really wasn’t realistic,” D’Antoni said, according to USA Today Sports. “It put a lot of pressure on everybody, and it kind of burst the pipes.
“I think this is totally different. We’ve got a team that is a whole bunch of veterans that really, we’ve got one thing in mind, and that’s to win a championship, and we have the possibility.”
Despite the rumors of a rift, D’Antoni admitted that Anthony “never had a blow-up” in New York while also referencing coaching Anthony with USA Basketball.
“We never had a blow-up before, so it’s not he wanted to play a certain way and I kind of wanted to coach another way,” D’Antoni said. “Back then [in New York], there wasn’t even analytics. I was going by my gut, and he was going by [his] gut, and it’s just, you know — styles clash.
“And I think now, things have changed and everybody is playing the same way. I think it’s a lot better fit and I think we have a really good chance to be really good.”
Years later, a now 34-year olf Anthony will have a different role than he did, back then, with the Knicks when he had much more pressure, many more expectations, and a lot more pressure.
“The more talent you can have, the better the guys are, the better the team is going to be,” D’Antoni said. “Look at Golden State, how they had all those guys and you fit in [Kevin] Durant. I mean if you are committed to a certain style, and everybody is committed to the team, it works itself out.”
D’Antoni was mum on if Anthony would be a starter or come off the bench in Houston.
“I don’t know, and that’s something that we’ll have to work out,” he said. “All I know is that we’ll try different combos — preseason, early season, and the good thing is that with analytics and with gut feelings and coaches and players, we’ll figure out what is the best way to play.
“And again, if everybody is on board, then it’ll be, ‘Hey, this is where we’re the best. This is how we can win the championship.’ I don’t know yet, but we’ll make sure we get it right as good as we can.”
Rockets, Mike D’Antoni Discussing New Contract
The Houston Rockets and head coach Mike D’Antoni are in talks regarding a new contract with D’Antoni willing to stay with the franchise “for at least another three years, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Since D’Antoni joined the Rockets back in 2016, he has posted a 173-73 record but has lost back-to-back years in the playoffs at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.
“I’ve let [general manager] Daryl [Morey] and [team 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,” the 68-year-old two-time Coach of the Year told Wojnarowski. “I want to be a part of a championship here.”
“Mike will be the coach next year” Rockets owner Rilman Fertitta said, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“He’s not a lame duck to me. That’s just a media term. That’s just a media buzzword. … We’re more concerned with making our team better next year. Mike will be here. I like Mike. I think he’s a very good coach. Players like playing for him. I keep being told, free agents want to know who the owner is and they want to know who the coach is. Mike and I do well together. Hopefully, we’ll continue to win and Mike will be here for a long time.”
Rockets’ Clint Capela Dealing with Respiratory Illness
Capela is apparently dealing with two respiratory illnesses and it is affecting his breathing.
Capela was diagnosed with both adenovirus and a klebsiella infection.
Rockets’ Iman Shumpert Says He Will Be Ready for Playoffs
Houston Rockets’ swingman Iman Shumpert recently returned from a calf injury and while he isn’t yet set to take to the court, he vows that he will be ready for the playoffs.
“I had to sit out and then sit out another week for my calf. In that time I gained a little weight not practicing, not getting back in the games” Shumpert said, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle .
“It takes the body a little time to adapt. But I’ll hit my stride. I’ll be ready for the playoffs.”
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