Mike D’Antoni informed the Houston Rockets that he will not return as head coach of the team after four seasons, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday. D’Antoni’s contract will be up once the season calendar flips and he has opted to not renew his contract with Houston. He could have asked for a new deal with the Rockets but it seems he’ll seek a new opportunity.
ESPN Sources: Houston coach Mike D’Antoni is informing the franchise’s ownership today that he’s becoming a free agent and won’t return to the Rockets next season.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 13, 2020
Here’s a statement from the D’Antoni’s.
Mike and Laurel D’Antoni statement to ESPN on departure from Rockets pic.twitter.com/XypyT8bgC0— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 13, 2020
D’Antoni had been the head coach of the Rockets for the past four seasons, making the postseason in every campaign. Unfortunately the closest the Rockets got to the NBA Finals was in 2017-18, when Houston advanced to the Western Conference Finals. The Rockets lost that series in seven games to the Golden State Warriors after Chris Paul was injured. D’Antoni had been offered a contract extension but turned it down.
As for the next stop for D’Antoni, Woj is already reporting that the head coach is being considered as a replacement for Brett Brown with the Philadelphia 76ers. Along with the Sixers, the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans are all in need of a new head coach.
D’Antoni will be considered among a group of candidates for the Philadelphia 76ers coaching opening, sources tell ESPN. D'Antoni was an assistant for several months under Brett Brown before accepting the Rockets job four years ago. https://t.co/MeoUrwWADm— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 13, 2020
Call me a homer, but out of all those jobs available for D’Antoni, Chicago seems like the most appealing. The only issue is D’Antoni likely wants a position on a team ready to compete in the playoffs. The Bulls aren’t too far off and D’Antoni could be the guy to get them over the edge. Chicago has a plethora of young talent and has plenty of promising shooters in Zach LaVine, Coby White and Lauri Markkanen.
Don’t look now Rockets fans, but you may not want to see this. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports is reporting Tyronn Lue will be considered for their head coaching vacancy. Lue is currently a Clippers assistant and had been reported as being hired by the 76ers for their HC position a few weeks back.
With a head coaching vacancy in Houston, expect the franchise to take a strong look at Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 13, 2020