Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has released an official statement after Mike D'Antoni informed the team he would not return as head coach next season.
Fertitta thanked D'Antoni for his achievements as Rockets head coach and wished him the best in future endeavors:
“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,” 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.”
Mike D'Antoni entered the 2019-20 season on an expiring contract after he and Houston failed to come to terms on a potential extension.
The veteran head coach finished his Houston tenure with a 217-101 regular season record and 28-23 postseason record. D'Antoni is the second-winningest coach in franchise history, and his 68.2 winning percentage is the best among all coaches in franchise history.
It remains to be seen how history will look back on D'Antoni's Rockets.
For what it's worth, he helped unlock James Harden's full potential. The team also came within one win of reaching the NBA Finals during the 2018 playoffs.
However, D'Antoni's emphasis on isolation offense and spacing, as well as his preference for small-ball rotations, did not put the Rockets over the top. Still, it should be said D'Antoni helped legitimize the franchise as a perennial contender in the Western Conference.
D'Antoni is sure to have a number of suitors as he prepares for his next journey.