The Houston Rockets are finalizing a four-year, $16 million-plus deal to hire Mike D’Antoni as head coach, league sources told The Vertical. With the Rockets signing of D’Antoni, what does this mean for Spurs Assistants James Borrego and Ettore Messina?
- Spurs show remarkable poise against Bulls, unlike many fans
- Devin Vassell is the latest in the Spurs’ collection of silent assassins
- San Antonio Spurs: 5 Players to avoid in any LaMarcus Aldridge deal
- Is Gregg Popovich hiding Luka Samanic as a secret weapon?
- San Antonio Spurs News: More DeRozan trade talk from Chris Haynes
Borrego was passed over for the Memphis Grizzlies job, as they chose Miami Heat associate coach David Fizdale. No longer for Memphis, Borrego was a finalist with the Rockets Head Coaching job as well. As we learned Thursday, Rockets and D’Antoni were already working on a deal.
With the league’s last head-coaching vacancy finally filled, it looks as if the Spurs assistants Borrego and Messina are assured of at least one more season on Gregg Popovich’s staff.
Considering how much interest Borrego and Messina garnered — Houston, Memphis, Sacramento, and the Lakers each considered at least one as a potential new hire — their days with the Spurs seem numbered.
Borrego came as a late addition for the Rockets job. He interviewed with the team on Monday and then later had a sit-down with owner Leslie Alexander on Wednesday. With the actions taken, it was likely the interview did much to detour their talks with D’Antoni.
D’Antoni though now takes on a roster that underperformed all season. With Dwight Howard and James Harden not on the same page, one feeling underused, he will have his hands full.
It’s a good sign for San Antonio, as the staff will be intact for the coming season. As much inquiring that Borrego and Messina had from teams this year, you better believe they will have more head-coaching opportunities next year.