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Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni won't return to team next season

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni (L), whose contract expired at the end of this season, previously turned down extension offers before the 2019-20 campaign. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni (L), whose contract expired at the end of this season, previously turned down extension offers before the 2019-20 campaign. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni has informed the organization that he won't return to the team next season.

"It's 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 told ESPN in a statement Sunday.

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The 69-year-old D'Antoni, whose contract expired after the Rockets' loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday in the Western Conference semifinals, turned down extension offers before the 2019-20 campaign.

In a statement, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta thanked D'Antoni for his contributions and wished him well.

"Mike is a true professional and an amazing basketball mind," Fertitta said in the statement. "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."

D'Antoni, a two-time NBA Coach of the Year, posted a 217-102 record across his four seasons in Houston. He guided the Rockets to the Western Conference finals once and the conference semifinals three times.

D'Antoni will be considered among the group of candidates for the Philadelphia 76ers' coaching vacancy, according to ESPN. The 76ers fired head coach Brett Brown last month after being swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round.

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