Coach Mike D’Antoni tells Houston Rockets he won’t return

Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said farewell to the Rockets on Sunday after four seasons.

“It is with tremendous sadness and gratitude that my wife Laurel and I announce that our incredible journey in Houston has ended for now and that we’ll be moving to a new chapter,” D’Antoni said in a statement to ESPN that was addressed to the Houston community. “Our time here was among the most memorable experiences of our lives. … From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making us feel like true Houstonians.”

D’Antoni, 69, turned down extension offers prior to this season. His contract expired when the Rockets were eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers from the Western Conference semifinals on Saturday.

He guided the Rockets to a 44-28 record in 2019-20 and a 217-101 (.682) mark since taking over in 2016-17. Houston was 28-23 in the postseason during D’Antoni’s tenure, losing in the conference semifinals three times and the conference finals once (2017-18).

D’Antoni will likely be considered a top candidate for the Philadelphia 76ers’ coaching vacancy. He was an assistant there under former Sixers coach Brett Brown in 2015-16.

D’Antoni owns a 672-527 (.560) record in 16 seasons as a head coach with the Denver Nuggets (1998-99), Phoenix Suns (2003-08), New York Knicks (2008-12), Lakers (2012-14) and Rockets.

He was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 2004-05 and 2016-17.

 

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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

      

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