HUNTINGTON — Mike D’Antoni doesn’t mask his excitement for the potential return of the NBA season, but he will mask his face.
The former Marshall University basketball star and head coach of the Houston Rockets said he will wear a mask if need be when, or if, the season resumes, according to an ESPN report.
Representatives of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said adults over 65 are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. D’Antoni, who turned 69 last week, said he has “no reservations” about coaching.
According to ESPN, D’Antoni said he believes NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will not allow the season to resume if it is unsafe. The brother of Thundering Herd men’s coach Danny D’Antoni has been sheltering in place at his Houston home.
Some NBA executives reportedly have expressed concern about older coaches attending games, as anyone 65 or older is considered high risk for COVID-19. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is 71. New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry is 65.
The Rockets plan to reopen team facilities at the Toyota Center to players on Monday for individual workouts. Head coaches, per the NBA’s reopening terms, aren’t yet allowed to attend workouts.
D’Antoni would like to see the season resume, as the Rockets have a 40-24 record, good for sixth place in the Western Conference. That’s good enough for the team to make the playoffs, if the season begins again.