The Rockets got off to a very poor start to begin the season, and they also traded away star big man Clint Capela, so the team could be in for a major change going forward.
Acquiring Russell Westbrook and parting ways with Chris Paul caused a big shakeup in the team’s roster over the offseason, and it hasn’t translated to positive changes in the team’s performance. Not only that, the Rockets field the smallest starting five in the NBA, which could result in matchup issues in the playoffs, when the game slows down in the half court.
Mike D’Antoni has been the team’s head coach since 2016, and the Rockets have been a game or two away from reaching the NBA Finals since that time. But it doesn’t appear that’ll be happening again in the future, and that’s sparked talk of a potential coaching change. Apparently, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Rockets could be replacing him with ESPN broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy, which he revealed on a recent podcast:
Amick’s report reads:
As I reported a couple months ago, barring a championship, if they do save the season, I do not get the sense that Mike D’Antoni is going to be back. They’ve had a major divide in the contract negotiations. I’m always cautious when it comes to reporting. So, I’m going to throw in the never say never. Pro sports is a crazy thing. You know what I mean? But the information that we’ve constantly heard is that that bridge, for the most part, has been burned, and now they’re just kind of mutually agreeing to make the best of the time they have together.
Jeff Van Gundy’s name is the one that I had heard consistently as a very possible replacement for Mike.
Van Gundy previously coached the Rockets from 2003-07, which, coincidentally, is the last time he coached in the league.