Over nine years have passed since they last worked together. Since then, Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni raved endlessly about each other’s character, their coaching, how they empower players and how they have overseen high-powered offenses that very few teams can stop.

Said Kerr: “Mike is the guy who revolutionized the game.”

Said D’Antoni: “Steve is one of the best coaches ever.”

The Warriors (37-9) will face the Houston Rockets (31-12) on Saturday, a matchup that could extend the Warriors’ 14-game road winning streak, secure home-court advantage in a possible postseason meeting and spark Kerr and D’Antoni to offer more compliments about one another.

After all, Kerr said he watches the Rockets every time they are on television after they acquired All-Star point guard Chris Paul as well as defensive specialists Luc Mbah a Moute and PJ Tucker last summer to complement All-Star guard James Harden. D’Antoni lauded Kerr for performing a “terrific, terrific job” after overseeing a star-laden roster winning two NBA titles in the past three years.

If only those warm feelings could have produced something long-lasting in Phoenix almost a decade ago with Kerr as the Suns’ general manager and D’Antoni as the Suns’ head coach. Nearly a year after Kerr became Phoenix’s general manager in the 2007 offseason, D’Antoni took the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job following the 2007-08 campaign.

“I have some regrets,” Kerr said. “I think we had a few differences that I probably didn’t handle very well as a GM that I could’ve probably handled better, especially given that we really like each other and have a lot of similar viewpoints on the game.”

Those similar viewpoints, however, soon morphed into disagreements as Kerr viewed the Suns “at a little bit of a crossroads.” On one hand, D’Antoni dramatically changed the NBA, adopting a famously dubbed “Seven Seconds or Less” offense that devastated most defenses with a higher premium on 3-point shooting, quick passes and fast breaks. On the other hand, D’Antoni faced persistent criticism regarding his commitment to defense and the Suns’ inability to beat the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA playoffs in 2005, 2006 and 2008.