Mike “‘Antoni” they called him. Because “he doesn’t believe in Defense.” For a guy like D’Antoni, people weren’t sure what to think of him. In Phoenix with Steve Nash, D’Antoni revolutionized that franchise with some taste of success. But he never won the title. In Los Angeles, he pretty much failed a team that most considered to be heavy title favorites. He obviously never won a chip there. Now, in Houston, people wrote him off before he got a chance to prove himself. When he became the Rockets’ head coach, be brought more than a few ideas to the table. He brought a system. With that system, and the way he showed his players how to use it, the Rockets became a team that nobody expected.
At 55 - 27 the team finished 3rd in the West, and even made it to the Conference Semis before eventually losing to the Spurs. Yeah, the Rockets didn’t win it all. But with what hey had, it’s a miracle they got that far. Mike D’Antoni, whether you love him or hate him, was a huge part of that. Other guys like Eric Spoelstra and Pop are certainly great coaches. But for this season, D’Antoni turned an okay team into something special. Maybe with another year, and a Coach of the Year title under his belt, he can finally bring home the trophy thats alluded him for so long.