Jeff Bzdelik, the head coach who led the defensive success of the Rockets last season before abruptly retiring before the training camp, agreed to return to the team on Monday, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said.
Bzdelik agreed with a contract that the rest of the season should again be in the same role. It is uncertain when he will be back full time, with opportunities for him to return next week or sometime by the end of November, a person with knowledge of the agreement said.
Rocket owner Tilman Fertitta had frequent contact with Bzdelik since the season opener because he retired as Bzdelik addressed a personal problem that had nothing to do with coaching.
Fertitta did not comment on the content of their discussions or Bzdelik's initial decision to step back, but said he believes Bzdelik is important to the Rocket's 65-win season last season and its goals this season.
ON HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM: Rockets receive bonus contributions from two rookies
"I think Mike (D & # 39; Antoni, the head coach of the Rockets) is one of the big offensive minds, but it takes chemistry to win 65 games," said Fertitta. "Jeff is one of the missing pieces and we're just happy to have him back. Mike is excited to have him again. Mike is excited. He said he could help and we are all happy to have him back. "
The Rockets improved to sixth in the NBA last season and finished third in the second half of the season.
They had made a bad start this season while losing five of their first six games. However, in the last two games they had made significant progress, bringing the Bulls to seven points in the third quarter on Saturday, one more than the least ever allowed by a Rockets team in a quarter. The Rockets go on Monday at 21 in Indianapolis at the startst Rang defense in the NBA.
"I was extremely disappointed when Jeff left," said Fertitta. "That had nothing to do with the start. I was extremely disappointed that he retired. Mike would say the same thing. When things started the way they did, things became more urgent. But we wanted him back. "
Bzdelik, 65, was a head coach at the Denver Nuggets and was an assistant in Washington, New York, Miami and Memphis, before joining D & # 39; Antoni with the Rockets.