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Rockets associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik retiring to spend more time with family

Jeff Bzdelik

After a pair of successful seasons as an assistant under head coach Mike D’Antoni with the Houston Rockets, Jeff Bzdelik will be retiring on Monday, according to a report from Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

In his report, Feigen notes that Bzdelik, now 65 years of age, is seeking more time with his family.

Bzdelik had been weighing whether to return for a third season on Mike D’Antoni’s staff throughout the summer, reaching his decision this weekend, an individual with knowledge of the decision said. He had been uncertain about taking on the demands and time away from family of another season.

D’Antoni spoke to reporters with regards to Bzdelik’s decision to retire.

“Great to work with. We’ll miss him,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told The Houston Chronicle. “He had an unbelievable career in the NBA. Wish him the best in his next phase.”

As D’Antoni stated, Bzdelik had an impressive career in the NBA. The Mount Prospect, Illinois native has been coaching and scouting — both professionally and in the college ranks — since 1978, when he served as an assistant with the Davidson Wildcats.

Bzdelik played a big role in the Rockets’ defensive turnaround over the past two seasons. In fact, under his watch, Houston had the sixth-rated defense in the NBA last season, ranking third in points allowed per possession.

According to Feigen, the Rockets will promote someone internally to fill Bzdelik’s position, with assistant coach Roy Rogers being the likely candidate.