Mike D'Antoni will not return to the Rockets next season

Cassandra Negley
·Writer
·2 mins read

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.

The Rockets were ousted from the NBA playoffs on Saturday night by the Los Angeles Lakers.

“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.”

D’Antoni of interest for 76ers job, per report

D’Antoni, a two-time NBA coach of the year, is being considered for the Philadelphia 76ers coaching job, per Wojnarowski. There are also reports that the Indiana Pacers are interested in hiring him.

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.

With so many deep runs in the playoffs, only the Golden State Warriors (46), Boston Celtics (33) and Toronto Raptors (31) have more postseason victories than the Rockets (28) over D’Antoni’s tenure.

D’Antoni after Game 5: ‘I had four years’

Houston head coach Mike D'Antoni will reportedly not return to the Rockets. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)
Houston head coach Mike D'Antoni will reportedly not return to the Rockets. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)

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.

James Harden also answered if he would want D’Antoni to stay.

“Of course. Of course,” Harden told reporters, via ESPN. “Mike has done some unbelievable things here.”

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