The Houston Rockets are reportedly set to officially announce their next hire for head coach in veteran mentor Mike D’Antoni, the former coach of Jeremy Lin with the New York Knicks, where “Linsanity” exploded in the NBA. Could Houston’s hiring of D’Antoni mean a reunion with his former point guard?
In earlier NBA rumors this offseason, the Rockets were linked to D’Antoni along with other veteran coaches like Jeff Van Gundy, Jeff Hornacek and David Blatt, among others. Rumors followed that D’Antoni would be targeting his former players, like Jeremy Lin, when free agency opens later this year.
Lin is expected to opt out of his deal with the Charlotte Hornets and there are now reports that Lin will be demanding a long-term deal worth over $50 million from his next NBA team. After the season, the Asian-American guard stated that money will not be a consideration in his free agency and that his role with his next NBA team is more important at this point of his career.
With the expected departure of Dwight Howard, Houston is expected to do more running and fast-paced offense in D’Antoni, who is popular for his high-octane offensive style. This move for the Rockets will mean they are open to acquiring players like Lin, who can play both the guard positions.
One problem of Jeremy Lin rejoining Houston is James Harden, who is seen as a selfish player on offense. But with D’Antoni as head coach, he could maximize Harden and Lin together on the floor with his faster paced offensive system.
“Linsanity” happened in New York in the 2011-2012 season and D’Antoni was credited for unleashing Lin’s potential that year. After his Knicks’ stint, Jeremy Lin proved himself as worthy starter or sixth man with the Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets.
Photo courtesy: Instagram/ jlin7