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D'Antoni not returning as Rockets coach after NBA playoffs exit

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Mike D'Antoni has left the Houston Rockets
Omnisport
NEWS
Modified 14 Sep 2020, 06:18 IST
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Mike D'Antoni will not return to coach the Houston Rockets next season, the veteran announced on Sunday.

D'Antoni's contract expired after the Rockets were eliminated from the NBA playoffs following a 4-1 Western Conference semi-final series defeat to top seeds the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

The 69-year-old, who has already been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers' coaching vacancy, oversaw a 217-101 regular-season record in four campaigns in Houston, where the Rockets reached the Conference finals once and enjoyed three trips to the semi-finals.

"It's 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," a statement from D'Antoni read.

"Our time here was among the most memorable experiences of our lives. From the dear friends we've made, the incredible partnerships with civic minded-leaders and city officials, to the wonderful non-profits and the clients they serve. Laurel and I will be forever indebted to this community for embracing our family.

"Most of all, I can't thank enough the entire Fertitta family, Daryl Morey, the staff, and the incredible and dedicated players I've been privileged to coach. The Rockets are a historic NBA franchise with fantastic fans and we've been proud to join with you to play a part in some of the successes here in Houston.

"From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making us feel like true Houstonians. For that, we will always be truly grateful."

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Rockets owner Tilman Feritta added: "I would like to thank Mike D'Antoni and his wife, Laurel, for their incredible contributions to the Houston Rockets organisation and the Houston community.

"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."

Published 14 Sep 2020, 06:18 IST
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