The new-look Rockets are being led by new-look coach—a freshly mustache-less Mike D’Antoni—but there’s some disagreement over why the veteran coach is sporting a freshly shorn face.
D’Antoni has had a hairy upper lip ever since his days playing in Italy, so rocking a clean shave is definitely a major lifestyle change.
Here’s how Tim Keown lays it out in a new profile of D’Antoni and his wife, Laurel, in ESPN the Magazine.
They engage in good-natured arguments over just about everything. Before Mike was hired by the Rockets last May, one dispute revolved around the spelling of a word. Laurel can't even remember the word, but she remembers Mike's stubbornness. "He was convinced he was right," she says, "but I knew I was right." She proposed a bet: If Mike was wrong, he would have to shave his mustache. Mike, so convinced of his rectitude that he was willing to put his most famous physical attribute on the line, accepted the bet, and that's why Mike D'Antoni's mustache has a Twitter account but Mike D'Antoni doesn't have a mustache.
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A bet? That’s interesting, because back at the start of the season D’Antoni told NBA TV’s Trey Kerby that he just wanted to look younger.
So which version should we believe? Probably the one in told by his wife, who, unlike D’Antoni, doesn’t have an incentive to downplay the hubris that led to his appointment with the razor.