It appears that the Houston Rockets made the right decision in bringing in Mike D’Antoni as head coach. The Rockets are currently 44-19 on the season and, to some, D’Antoni is the clubhouse leader for coach of the year. Houston’s success is probably a surprise to many as numerous people panned the hire when it was announced in early June. Coming off back-to-back underwhelming stints with the Lakers and the Knicks, D’Antoni didn’t seem like the logical choice…
Mike D’Antoni might not be the worst possible hire for the Houston Rockets, but he’s damn close: https://t.co/cWe9lpFoBI
— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) May 26, 2016
If Mike D'Antoni was a serious candidate for the Rockets' job, I'm just sitting here wondering why I didn't apply for the gig?
— Adam Woodard (@AdamWoodard) May 26, 2016
Houston Rockets Inexplicably Hire Mike D'Antoni As New Head Coach https://t.co/TyhK4tcs5x
— The Big Lead (@thebiglead) May 26, 2016
"The Rockets have hired Mike D'Antoni. And now let's go live to Rockets GM Daryl Morey. Daryl?" pic.twitter.com/XZviGVWGaZ
— Jordan Ray (@JordanLRay) May 26, 2016
Rockets reportedly set to hire Mike D'Antoni as coach because Les Alexander is dumb https://t.co/1Jp6hont96
— The Dream Shake (@DreamShakeSBN) May 26, 2016
In his Houston Chronicle column titled “Rockets out of tune with Mike D’Antoni coaching hire,” Brian T. Smith wrote…
“The Rockets will tell you they intentionally took their sweet, deliberate time making a decision that will affect them for years. But you’re smarter than that. D’Antoni was waiting there all along. And you know there’s a reason 29 other teams had coaches Thursday morning while no one else was craving the man to whom the Rockets decided to hand shoot-first Harden.
(D)’Antoni, meet Har(d)en. Have fun.”
“But [Rockets owner Les] Alexander did what he’s always done since the last golden ball arrived in Houston. He went with the big, splashy name. He refused to build slow, overlooked the long-term play, and simply bought the most expensive thing.”
“Which is fine if D’Antoni, 65, somehow magically resurrects his career and does in the fourth-largest city in the country what he failed to do in Los Angeles and New York. But that currently feels as reasonable as Harden’s making the all-defensive team.”
In a piece titled “5 reasons why the Houston Rockets should not hire Mike D’Antoni,” Philip Rossman-Reich of FanSided failed to see the fit…
“Harden has the driving and efficiency things down that D’Antoni’s offense calls for. But he does not quite have the pace. And the Rockets offense for the last few years devolved into standing around watching Harden dribble.
Could D’Antoni really change that for the better?”
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith surprisingly had a strong opinion on the news, as he also also criticized the hire…
“And you hire Mike D’Antoni? The guy who Skip Bayless says should have the ‘D’ omitted from his name because it’s really ‘Mike Antoni’? Because there’s really no such thing as defense when he’s coaching. It just amazes me.”
Somehow, some way, this man continues to land good job after good job after good job. I find it amazing. I’ll tell you this: If I want a salesman, I definitely hire him because whatever he’s selling, somehow, some way, folks continue to buy. I give him credit for that.”
The D’Antoni was largely unpopular with Rockets fans as well. However, it didn’t take long for some of them start coming around…
I was so wrong about the D'antoni hire.
— Justin (@JayCmoe) December 15, 2016
I was wrong about Mike D'Antoni. He has the squad balling. #RedNation
— Mike (@mike25tb) December 10, 2016
James Harden & the Rockets are thriving under D'antoni & im very close to admitting that I was really wrong about that hire.
— Z (@ZTheJustOK) December 18, 2016
For all of his deficiencies and failed tenures, D’Antoni has been successful so far. The Rockets are contenders in the West, and while it remains to be seen whether he can lead Houston to a title, D’Antoni has not been the disaster that most thought. A pleasant surprise in Houston.