With a handful of coaching vacancies around the NBA, it is no surprise experienced Sixers associate coach Mike D'Antoni's name is being mentioned in the mix of candidates.
According to a report on Wednesday night by Marc Stein of ESPN.com, D'Antoni will interview for the Rockets' head coach position this week. Rockets interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff withdrew himself from consideration, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported Wednesday night. Bickerstaff replaced Kevin McHale, who the Rockets fired in November.
The Sixers hired D'Antoni last December. They were 1-26 at the time and looking to enhance their staff. D'Antoni has 12 seasons of NBA head coaching on his résumé, holding the position with the Nuggets, Suns (where he worked with both Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo and special advisor Jerry Colangelo), Knicks and Lakers. He most recently coached the Lakers to a 27-55 result during the 2013-14 season.
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D'Antoni has a career head coaching record of 455-426 (51.6 winning percentage). He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2004-05 with the Suns and led the team to back-to-back Western Conference Finals appearances. D'Antoni was also an assistant coach for Team USA men's national teams that won gold.
The Rockets are expected to speak with multiple candidates before filling this role. Stein reported the team will speak with Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. The Vertical has reported the Rockets have met with their own assistant coach Chris Finch and Clippers assistant coach Sam Cassell, as well as having interest in former Rockets coach and current television broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy.
This season, the Rockets (41-41) were bounced from the first round of the playoffs by the Warriors, 4-1. They lost the final two games by an average of 30 points.