D’Antoni says Rockets not bothered by his expiring contract

Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni says he doesn’t think his expiring contract will be an issue this season — for D’Antoni or the players.

“I got a great group of guys that I don’t think care. They won’t be affected by it,” D’Antoni said, via Mark Medina of USA Today. “I won’t be affected by it. So it’s a non-issue.”

The Rockets have high hopes with the backcourt of Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

D’Antoni’s deal will pay him $4.5 million this season. He and his agent were unable to reach an agreement with Rockets management after negotiations this past summer.

“It’s not going to change the way I coach or how I feel trying to compete,” D’Antoni said. “So then we’ll see next summer with what happens.”

He reiterated that his contract doesn’t seem to be playing a role with the players.

“Every situation is different. If I had guys looking for outs or not listening to me or if we had problems, it could be a problem,” D’Antoni said. “But if you have a great group, which I have luckily, and they want to only win? We have a great relationship and we’re doing this all together.”