Houston, we have a… D’Antoni?

decision aheadHave you ever stared a bad decision directly in the face but you went ahead and did it anyway?  Going in, you knew it was the unjustifiably wrong thing to do, like getting behind the wheel of a car after you’ve been drinking or having unprotected sex with that person you just met but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

Well the Houston Rockets are currently in that exact same predicament.  They’re coming off a post-season in which they were thoroughly embarrassed.  They’ve been drinking, they’re delusional, desperate and their judgment is clearly clouded.  And now they have a stranger in their sights and are about to drive off down the road with destiny looming.  That ride is Mike D’Antoni and that destiny is another losing season.

Bad decisions have been the Houston Rockets modus operandi lately so if nothing else, hiring D’Antoni as their next head coach at least means they’re consistent.

When we last left Mike D’Antoni, he was being run out of Los Angeles.  Little did we know that the Lakers would actually have a WORSE season right after he left but that was largely in part to the Kobe Bryant Launch ‘Em Up Farewell Tour of 2015-16.  Before that, D’Antoni struggled for four seasons with the New York Knicks but let’s be honest, who wouldn’t struggle coaching that clusterfuck of a franchise.

D’Antoni’s only real success came when he made near contenders out of his run-and-gun Suns.  They never got to the Finals… but they got really, really close.  I guess Houston is hoping D’Antoni can somehow recreate that success.  Someone should probably tell them that came a decade ago, back when Amare Stoudemire was relevant.

Mike and SteveBack then, D’Antoni made a two-time MVP out of Steve Nash, or perhaps it was Steve Nash that made Mike D’Antoni look like he could coach.  Either way, those two made quite the splash but like I said, that was eons ago by NBA standards.

This is nothing personal but Mike D’Antoni coaching the Houston Rockets has to be one of the worst ideas I’ve heard in a long time, so much so that I feel sorry for the poor people who have to work in the Rockets’ ticket sales department.  Can you imagine that phone call?  “Hello there.  I work for the Houston Rockets and I’m calling to ask if you’d like to welcome Mike D’Antoni as your new head coach and if you’d be interesting in purchasing season tickets.  Click.  Hello?”

I take that back.  There’s one person in Houston who’s happy about D’Antoni taking over the reins and that’s James Harden.  D’Antoni likes a high-powered, fast break offense.  He knows no other way to coach.  The bearded Mr. I’ve-Never-Met-A-Shot-I-Didn’t-Like must be salivating at the thought of taking even MORE shots than he already does.  That being said, an up and down type of offense might not be suited for Dwight Howard who, while only 30 years old, has already been in the league for twelve years, has had countless surgeries and has basically had a beef with every coach he’s ever played for.  Jason Terry, who was on the Rockets last year, likes to shoot as well but he’s also getting a little long in the tooth.

Either way, odds are neither of those two will be on the roster next year which means Harden could end up breaking the all-time single season record for field goal attempts.

White broncoLet’s be honest.  Nothing short of the cosmic coaching lovechild of Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach could fix the mess that is these Houston Rockets.  Putting D’Antoni on the sidelines is like spraying charcoal fluid onto an already raging fire.  It’s like eating pizza when you already have really bad heartburn.  It’s like dating a Kardashian.  It’s AJ Cowling driving OJ Simpson down the Los Angeles freeway.  It’s going to end really, really badly.  It’s just a matter of when.

Isn’t there anyone in the Houston front office with enough sense to just say no?  I guess not considering these are the same people who fired Kevin McHale after he took this very same team to back-to-back fifty win seasons.

After the season they had, Houston fans have probably given up.  Not that I can blame them.  The good news for Rocket fans is that D’Antoni is not the only coaching consideration.  The bad news is that it doesn’t really matter who they hire.  This team is going to suck for quite some time.

It’s just that with D’Antoni as their coach, the sucking will draw a lot more attention.

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12 Replies to “Houston, we have a… D’Antoni?”

  1. Jeff Hornacek to the Knicks and Mike D’Antoni to the Rockets ? Are Daryl Morey , Phil Jackson and Steve Mills completely out of their ##cking minds ?

  2. I just don’t get this whole D’Antoni thing unless it’s the answer to how to make a bad situation worse.

    They need to figure out what they’re doing with the big fella first. Personally, I don’t see him on that roster but stranger things have happened.

    The Hornacek move I sorta get.

    Look, after Thibs, Brooks and Vogel got hired, I’m not too sure what was left out there. At least those three franchises, with the possible exception of Orlando have some sort of gameplan, some sort of direction.

    The Knicks and Rockets have neither.

  3. The Hornacek move was just as idiotic as the D’Antoni hire . Look at their respective coaching records and tell me what either has done which would give you the impression either has been successful ? If the likes of Brian Shaw and Patrick Ewing can’t head a coaching job in the NBA, then what does that indicate ?

    Shaw was part of the coaching staff under Phil Jackson during his second spell with the Lakers. Ewing has a good knowledge of the game and has nurtured and some of the best big men in the game over the past eight years. Yet neither aren’t now deemed worthy enough of a coaching position in the league ? Admittedly , Brian Shaw was given a chance with the Nuggets, but the front office and ownership were completely devoid of intelligence during his coaching stint with the franchise.

  4. Harden loves to gun anyway…

    Whatever…Watching the Rockets implode?
    Pass the popcorn.

  5. Al…

    You and I both know it doesn’t matter who coaches the Knicks. They’re going to suck.

    I think over the years Ewing, like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, have just rubbed people the wrong way which may explain why they’re not getting gigs.

    As for Shaw, that I can’t explain. One would have to think he’d land a gig soon.

  6. Bleed…

    The NBA should have their own version of Hard Knocks and let it star the Rockets.

    Like you, I’d watch and cheer for the inevitable, unhappy ending.

  7. The Rockets hiring Pringles D’Antoni was pure brilliance… IF you’re a Lakers fan!! Otherwise any team driven by a ball hog with an idiot in the paint is NEVER going to win in the playoffs. They’ll be fortunate simply to make the playoffs with those two… oh yeah just like this year.

    Oh and the obvious.. Ewing doesn’t have the necessary free floating neurons to Head Coach, let alone the nurturing attitude and Shaw was simply biding time to return where he knew he belonged.. with the Lakers!

  8. TH…

    I read today that the Rockets are interested in Al Horford. A) Who wouldn’t be and B) he’d be perfect for them because he doesn’t really demand the ball.

    Even with Tito’s even temper, he’d probably still get pissed at Harden for launching up shots. After all, Horford is probably a better shooter than Harden from 15-17 feet out.

    As a Florida alum, I love me some Horford. I hope he gets out of Atlanta but steers clear of the circus show that’s bound to become the 2016-17 Houston Rockets.

  9. Patrick Ewing has rubbed people the wrong way ? Ahh $hit , but Allan Houston can somehow hold a significant position within the Knicks’ organization ? WTF ! Patrick Ewing helped developed players such as Yao Ming , Dwight Howard and several other big men with their skill-set but he can’t land a head coaching job in the NBA. What does that tell you about a number of general managers in this league ?

    73-9 doesn’t seem to have that power of invincibility or domination about now that the Golden State Warriors are on the brink of being eliminated from this season’s NBA Playoffs.

  10. It tells me that modern NBA GM’s are a smart lot who KNOW that there are better head coaching choices than Ewing. Lot’s of better choices. You’re paranoia is starting to sound a bit racist there Al.

  11. Al…

    I’m not quite sure how much of Yao Ming’s or Dwight Howard’s success you can credit to Pat Ewing. Come on.

    And if so, it’s not like either of those centers have had incredible careers. Those guys were already decent. Did Pat Ewing make them substantially better?

    If you were an owner of an NBA franchise, would Pat Ewing be your first choice as head coach?

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