Professional basketball can’t seem to get enough of Mike D’Antoni.
Basically, whenever there is an NBA coaching opening, D’Antoni’s name is mentioned. And guess what? He has already been linked to two vacancies, even as the playoffs are still going on.
The latest is that of the Charlotte Hornets, who fired James Borrego after three seasons (despite the fact the Hornets compiled 10 more wins than last year, and 20 more than the year before that.)
As relayed on Hoops Wire, D’Antoni is now a “serious candidate” for the Hornets job, as Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak once hired D’Antoni to coach the Los Angeles Lakers. So the two have a relationship from back when Kupchak was GM in LA.
In fact, it would be hard to find someone in position to make a hire who hasn’t crossed path with D’Antoni. Along with the Lakers, he has coached the Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets. He also served as an assistant under Steve Nash with the Brooklyn Nets, and most recently, as a “coaching consultant” with Willie Green and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Now, he is ready to fight for his next job as the main man.
He already has interviewed for the Sacramento Kings’ vacancy, but reportedly did not make the cut as a finalist. So Charlotte it may be.
What is so appealing about D’Antoni? Well, for starters, he implements a brand of basketball that is fun to watch. It’s fast-paced and features lots of 3-point attempts. While he’s never won a title, his teams are almost always contenders, and his players enjoy being part of a fun system.
D’Antoni, 70, has been named NBA Coach of the Year twice and owns a 672-527 record in 16 NBA seasons overall. You can be sure, at some point, there will be at least a 17th season.
Who knows where that season will take place, but from the sounds of things, Charlotte is the current odds-on favorite.