Mike D’Antoni Unfazed By Lame-Duck Status

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni doesn’t see his lame duck status as an issue, Mark Medina of USA Today reports.

D’Antoni and his agent were unable to reach an extension agreement with the Rockets after last season. He’s making $4.5MM in the final year of his contract.

With the James HardenRussell Westbrook combination, Houston believes it can make a run to the championship after getting eliminated the past two postseason by the Warriors.

“I got a great group of guys that I don’t think care. They won’t be affected by it,” D’Antoni told Medina. “I won’t be affected by it. So it’s a non-issue.”

D’Antoni hinted that he doesn’t see his contract situation changing during the season. The front office and owner Tilman Fertitta have downplayed concerns about D’Antoni coaching this season without long-term security with the franchise.

“It’s not going to change the way I coach or how I feel trying to compete,” D’Antoni said. “So then we’ll see next summer with what happens.”

D’Antoni hasn’t seen any signs of players tuning him out or treating him any differently due to his contract status.

“Every situation is different. If I had guys looking for outs or not listening to me or if we had problems, it could be a problem,” D’Antoni said. “But if you have a great group, which I have luckily, and they want to only win? We have a great relationship and we’re doing this all together.”

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