Mike D’Antoni will not return to the Houston Rockets next season.
D’Antoni has told the franchise he won’t be back with the team next year. He’ll instead become a free agent with his contract expired and having turned down extensions throughout the season. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news and D’Antoni later released a statement confirming he is leaving Houston.
Mike and Laurel D’Antoni statement to ESPN on departure from Rockets pic.twitter.com/XypyT8bgC0— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 13, 2020
“I would like to thank Mike D’Antoni and his wife, Laurel, for their incredible contributions to the Houston Rockets organization and the Houston community,” Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said in a statement. “Mike is a true professional and an amazing basketball mind. He is a winner, and we have been blessed to have such an outstanding coach and leader to work with the past four seasons.”
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He was 217-102 in four seasons as the Rockets head coach, but the team struggled to make it to the NBA Finals. His teams reached the Western Conference finals once, making it to a Game 7 of the 2017-2019 series, and the semifinals three times.
Their season ended in the semifinals this season with a dominating effort by the Lakers, 119-96, in Game 5.
D’Antoni after Game 5: ‘I had four years’
D’Antoni, 69, was asked about his future immediately after the semifinal loss. He said he wants to keep coaching, but “we’ll see” if remaining in Houston was in the cards.
Mike D'Antoni on whether his run with the Rockets is over: "We’ll see what happens. I had four years. Hopefully it keeps going, but you just never know." He definitely wants to continue coaching, whether it's in Houston or elsewhere.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) September 13, 2020
“Of course. Of course,” Harden told reporters, via ESPN. “Mike has done some unbelievable things here.”
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