Report: The Houston Rockets to hire Mike D'Antoni as new head coach

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The Houston Rockets are finalising a deal to make Mike D'Antoni their new head coach, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports.

D'Antoni, who has spent the last five months as an associate head coach to Brett Brown with the Philadelphia 76ers, has not been in a head coaching role since being fired by the L.A. Lakers in 2014. 

The offensive-minded coach also previously had stints at the New York Knicks and the Phoenix Suns - where he was most successful 

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His most successful tenure was in Arizona where he led the Suns to a 62-20 record in the 2004-05 season and a first place finish in the Western Conference, which saw him named the Coach of the Year. 

He orchestrated a devastating offensive team which was centred around All-Stars Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire. 

The 65-year-old won 50 or more games in four consecutive seasons in Phoenix and guided the team to back-to-back Western Conference Finals appearances in 2005 and 2006. 

He didn't manage the same level of success in New York and Los Angeles, however, accruing a combined record of 188-255 in six seasons and 0-8 in two trips to the playoffs.

The Rockets, though, will be hoping he has more luck in Clutch City and can work his offensive magic around All-Star shooting guard James Harden. 

The Beard was the second leading scorer in the league averaging 29 points per game and could thrive even more in D'Antoni's system.

The Texas-based franchise - and their star player in particular - struggled on the defensive end throughout the campaign and with D'Antoni not known for his defensive qualities as a coach, things may not get any better on that end of the floor at the Toyota Center. 

The coach is believed to have agreed to a four-year deal with Houston on Thursday and an announcement from the team is expected soon. 


The American-Italian will inherit a team that endured a year full of turmoil. 

He will be replacing Kevin McHale who was fired as the coach just 11 games into the season, despite making the conference finals the previous campaign.

J.B. Bickerstaff took the reigns on an interim basis and led the team to the playoffs in the final game of the year, ending with a 41-41 record.

They were eliminated in the first round of the postseason, losing 4-1 to the Golden State Warriors.

In total, the Rockets interviewed 12 candidates for the position in what was a long and thorough process. 

Ultimately, D'Antoni has been selected as the man to bring about a sense of stability to the franchise. 

According to Mark Stein of ESPN, he was the coach owner Leslie Alexander's choice as he decided to take an active role in the recruitment process. He will hope it proves to be an inspired decision.

Dwight Howard
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Western Conference
James Harden

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