Mike D’Antoni’s wife jealous of how much coach loves James Harden
Mike D’Antoni has coached a lot of very good players during his years in the NBA, but it is quite clear that James Harden is his favorite. If you don’t believe us, just ask D’Antoni’s wife.
Laurel D’Antoni spoke with Howard Beck for a lengthy Bleacher Report feature about the way her husband’s coaching style and offensive system have evolved, and Mrs. D’Antoni says a lot of the change is a result of how much her husband has fallen in love with Harden. In fact, the infatuation runs so deep that she sounds a bit envious.
“He’s just morphed because of his players. My husband is in looove with James Harden,” Laurel said. “I mean, I would like to have a little bit of that love that he’s giving James Harden in my household. But I understand why. Because Mike said he’s the best offensive player he’s ever, ever, ever coached.”
The system D’Antoni is running in Houston is a lot different from the one he ran when he had so much success with the Phoenix Suns. That’s because he has such talented players like Harden and Chris Paul, and they find a way to put points up in bunches by creating good looks.
“As long as it works, feels good, you can do anything you wanna do,” D’Antoni says of his mindset with the Rockets.
Ironically, the system the Warriors employ is a lot more like D’Antoni’s old system. While he and Golden State coach Steve Kerr have traded some friendly jabs this year, the level of mutual respect between the two is extremely high. If D’Antoni’s “new” offense fails to find success against the Warriors, he’ll almost be getting beat at his own game.
As for D’Antoni’s love affair with Harden, who knows how deep things will get if the Rockets manage to win a title. Laurel is probably bracing herself for that already.