Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni broke off contract talks with the front-office Thursday, and says he is “looking forward to the year and having a great season.”
D’Antoni, 68, had hoped for a three-year extension, and balked at Houston’s one-year, incentive-laden $5 million offer.
Team owner Tim Fertitta and general manager Daryl Morey are also cutting ties with three assistant coaches.
“We didn’t end extension talks,” Fertitta said in a hastily arranged media availability after talks with D’Antoni broke off. “Agents’ jobs are to play hardball. I made Mike a great extension offer. It was one of the better base salaries in basketball but also had the highest incentives in basketball. Mike could make 4 million in incentives. Business is business.
“I’m a very incentive-based guy. If you perform, I want you to do unbelievable.”
D’Antoni would not discuss the details of the Rockets’ offer other than that an offer was made that he did not accept.
“We could not come to terms on an extension,” D’Antoni said. “I have my contract still. I’m looking forward to the year and having a great season.”
“We and Mike are all on the same page,” Fertitta said. “I’m thrilled Mike is going to be back this year. I’m sure after the season this year, because I think we’re going to do well, we’ll sit down and ink out another contract for Mike. Mike doesn’t have any reason to want to go coach anywhere else. At this point, we’re very happy with Mike. We’ve had three great years with Mike. We look forward to Mike being here for many years to come.”
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