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Report: Mike D'Antoni Informs Rockets He Won't Return as Head Coach

Mike D'Antoni informed the Rockets on Sunday that he will not return as head coach in 2020-21, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

D'Antoni's contract with Houston ended on Saturday as the Rockets were eliminated by LeBron James and the Lakers in the second round. D'Antoni and the Rockets previously discussed contract extensions prior to 2019-20, but talks fell through before opening night.

D'Antoni, 69, amassed a 217–101 record in four seasons with the Rockets. He led one of the best periods in franchise history since joining Houston in 2016, leading James Harden & Co. to four straight playoff appearances. The Rockets reached the Western Conference finals in 2018 before losing in the second round in each of the last two seasons. 

There was considerable speculation regarding D'Antoni's future throughout the 2020 playoffs. D'Antoni said on Saturday night he wished to continue coaching after this season, adding his fondness for the city of Houston and the Rockets' organization. 

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"We've got a great organization, great city, great fans, team's great," D'Antoni said following Houston's Game 5 loss. "I mean, everything's good here. We'll see what happens, but I couldn't ask for a better situation."

"I had four years. Hopefully it keeps going, but you just never know. But everything is good on this side, for sure."

Houston will now hire its third coach in the Harden era after D'Antoni's departure. The Rockets have been tied to former Houston head coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy, and the Rockets are expected to take a "strong look" at Clippers' assistant Tyron Lue, per Yahoo's Chris Haynes

The Rockets have now made the playoffs in eight straight years with Harden, but the last half decade has been marked by a string of disappointing playoff exits. Perhaps Houston's next head coach will help Harden get over the hump as he continues his Hall-of-Fame career.