D’Antoni reportedly tells Rockets he won’t return

Mike D’Antoni won’t return as coach of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, ESPN reported on Sunday.

“It is 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,” D’Antoni said in a statement to ESPN that was addressed to the Houston community.

“Our time here was among the most memorable experiences of our lives. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making us feel like true Houstonians.”

D’Antoni, 69, turned down extension offers prior to this season and his contract expired when the Rockets were eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers from the Western Conference semi-finals on Saturday.

D’Antoni took the helm of the Rockets in the 2016-17 season and guided them to a 217-101 record since then.

This season, he piloted the team to a 44-28 record.

But the Rockets fell in the conference semi-finals for the third time in his tenure, having reached the conference finals just once in that span, in 2018. (AFP)