D’Antoni’s contract expires as Rockets head coach

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Houston Rockets will have a new head coach for the 2020-21 season. Mike D’Antoni has elected to move on.

His contract expired at the end of the season. He also informed that he would like to test the free agent market for head coaches.

Former Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni reacts to a call against the Utah Jazz
Mike D’Antoni reacts to a call against the Utah Jazz (Getty Images)

“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. “Mike is a true professional and an amazing basketball mind. 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 was a lame duck head coach, as the Rockets failed to reach an agreement with him before the conclusion of the season. Houston was eliminated from the playoffs in the second-round against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Rockets went to a small ball lineup after trading Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks at the trade deadline in February. They struggled when they faced teams with true centers, like the Lakers, who have Anthony Davis as their big man.

D’Antoni does have options. He is in the mix to become the Indiana Pacers head coach if the team does not hire Chauncey Billups first.

The Pacers fired Nate McMillan just days after giving him a one-year extension. McMillan was fired after Indiana was defeated in the first-round of the playoffs in a sweep by the Miami Heat.

In addition, besides the Pacers, D’Antoni is in the mix for the Philadelphia 76ers. He may also have a chance to become the New Orleans Pelicans head coach.

D’Antoni was the Rockets head coach for the past four seasons. He has also been the head coach of the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, and the Lakers.

He was also the head coach of Olimpia Milano and Benetton Basket.

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