The overhaul of the Rockets coaching staff took several additional deep cuts on Friday, with the Rockets letting four more staff members know they would not be back next season.
Rockets assistant coach Roy Rogers will not receive a new contract for next season, his agent Warren LeGarie said on Friday, making Rogers the second top assistant on Mike D’Antoni’s staff for the past three seasons that will not be offered a new contract.
This has been surprising news over the last day or so from an organization typically regarded as rational by outsiders. Rumors have swirled, but nothing firm has been corroborated regarding whether the shakeup has come at the behest of general manager Daryl Morey or team owner Tilman Fertitta.
The moves are odd because despite failing to adjust to Golden State’s changed personnel in the semifinals–a task far easier stated than done–Houston largely righted the ship on the defensive end in the second half of the season after solidifying a rotation that didn’t include Carmelo Anthony. They were second in defensive rating after the All-Star break.
Mike D’Antoni appears to be safe for now, having expressed interest in remaining with the team long-term, with Morey uhh…sort of giving a vote of confidence. To be sure, I blamed D’Antoni for the Game 6 loss, particularly for his unwillingness to bench center Clint Capela despite the raw data indicating he was absolutely killing his team. But I don’t think he should lose his job over the failure. Not after getting this close.
Smear it as defeatism as some of you will, or cite to it as further evidence that we Houstonians are just bred without a thirst for winning, as Scottie Pippen ironically suggested earlier in the month. I just think there’s something to organizational stability, particularly when all tiers of an organization (GM, coach, star) are on the same page. Except this shakeup might indicate otherwise.