HOUSTON - Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has named Mike D’Antoni as the thirteenth head coach in the history of the franchise and the fifth since Leslie Alexander took over ownership in 1993.
“We are thrilled to add a coach of Mike’s caliber and experience,” said Alexander. “Mike’s ingenuity laid the groundwork for what drives success in today’s NBA and we are confident in his ability to help reignite our pursuit of a championship.”
D’Antoni has over a quarter of a century of coaching experience. He had his greatest success over a four season span as head coach of Phoenix from 2004-05 through 2007-08 where he guided the Suns to a record of 232-96 (.707), including back-to-back trips to the Western Conference Finals in 2005 and 2006. In 2004-05, D’Antoni was named NBA Coach of the Year after leading Phoenix to a franchise-high tying 62 wins in his first full season as head coach. The Suns increased their scoring average by 16.2 points per game over the previous season, marking the largest scoring increase from one season to the next by any team since the introduction of the shot clock in 1954-55.
D'Antoni has not been so successful in his latest coaching stops with the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks. As coach of the Knicks from 2008-2012 he went 121-167 with only one playoff appearance. Coaching the Lakers for two seasons until being fired in 2014, he was 67-87 with only one playoff appearance.
Hopefully Rockets fans get to see the D'Antoni who made the Suns something special.