Irv Roland

Rockets Notes: D’Antoni, Harden, Paul, Staff Changes

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said talks regarding a contract extension are in an advanced stage, he told Mark Berman of Fox 26 Sports. D’Antoni, who has one season left on his four-year, $16MM contract, believes he can go an additional two or three years.

News that the two parties were negotiating an extension came to light last weekend.

“I don’t do it (negotiate). That’s my agent. He takes care of that stuff,” D’Antoni said. “They’ve been discussing it for a long time now. It just hasn’t been a couple weeks. It’s been awhile that they’ve been talking. So they’ll figure it out.”

We have more on the Rockets:

  • D’Antoni was caught off-guard by a report that James Harden and Chris Paul had a verbal altercation in the locker room after the team was eliminated by Golden State, he told Berman. “It was definitely blown out of proportion,” D’Antoni said. “Those are discussions that (happen with) every good team that has a lot of alpha dogs and we do. Those are things that (happen) in the locker room and on the floor, time outs and everybody’s trying to compete and win a championship. That happens all the time. So it was nothing out of the ordinary at all. It kind of took me a little bit by surprise. I was shocked. Just wow, okay, it just didn’t happen.”
  • The Rockets fired player development assistant coach Irv Roland, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. That’s quite significant, since he has been Harden’s trainer since 2016 and also has a tight relationship with Paul, David Aldridge of The Athletic tweets.
  • The organization also mutually parted ways with assistant Roy Rogers, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. Rogers wanted more than a one-year offer, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. Assistant Mitch Vanya and video coordinator John Cho were also let go, Feigen adds.
  • Despite the extension talks, the staff shakeup has made some people in the coaching community wonder if the team’s brass is trying to convince D’Antoni to leave, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. The Rockets also parted ways with associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik last week.