LA Lakers completed a gentleman's sweep over the Houston Rockets in the NBA Western Conference semi-finals. The Rockets won the first game, but could not sustain their form for the rest of the series. NBA trade rumors had started circulating regarding head coach Mike D'Antoni's future in Houston. In an update by ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the 69-year-old Head Coach has requested the Rockets for permission to leave.
NBA Trade Rumors: Mike D'Antoni bids farewell to Houston Rockets
According to Woj, D'Antoni has informed the franchise ownership today that he will become a free agent and won’t return to the Houston Rockets next season. D'Antoni spent four years in Houston, with the highlight of his career being the Western Conference Finals trip in 2018 in which his team lost to the eventual champions Golden State Warriors in seven games.
D'Antoni also had a hand in improving James Harden as a player, refining his overall game which led to him winning the NBA MVP award. Before the city of Houston, D'Antoni and his wife released a message thanking the fans, organization, and the city of Houston.
NBA trade rumors suggest that the Philadelphia 76ers will consider Mike D'Antoni as one of the candidates for their head coach job. 76ers recently fired Brett Brown after losing to Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs in four games. Notably, D'Antoni was an assistant for several months under Brett Brown before accepting the Rockets job four years ago.
Memphis Grizzlies hire a new assistant coach
In another coaching update, Memphis Grizzlies are hiring Phoenix's Darko Rajaković as an assistant coach, according to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski. Rajakovic replaces Neven Spahija, who recently left the Grizzlies for a coaching job overseas.
Memphis Grizzlies punched above their weight this year, narrowly missing out on the NBA playoffs. They qualified for the playoff play-in tournament but lost to the eventual 8th seed Portland Trail Blazers.
Ja Morant, their second pick selection in the 2019 NBA draft, won the Rookie of the Year award this season. Grizzlies have a young core and a promising coach at their disposal. The Memphis based team will be in playoff contention for many years to come.
Published 14 Sep 2020, 00:41 IST