NBA: Houston Rockets and coach Mike D'Antoni part ways after 4 years of failure

ORLANDO (Reuters) – Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said farewell to the Rockets on Sunday (Sept 13) after four seasons of failing to win the National Basketball Association (NBA) championship.

“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,” he 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 and his contract expired when the Rockets were eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers from the Western Conference semi-finals on Saturday.

Team owner Tilman Fertitta issued a statement thanking D’Antoni and his wife for the contributions to the Rockets and the Houston community.

“Mike is a true professional and an amazing basketball mind,” Fertitta said.”He is a winner, and we have been blessed to have had such an outstanding coach and leader to work with the past four seasons. We wish Mike and Laurel nothing but success and happiness in their next chapter.”

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 post-season during his 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, having been an assistant there under recently fired Sixers coach Brett Brown in 2015-16.

The American 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 also named the NBA Coach of the Year in 2004-05 and 2016-17.

Source: Read Full Article