Former Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni is a candidate to join Steve Nash‘s new coaching staff with the Nets, a source tells Frank Isola of SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter link).
D’Antoni and Nash obviously have an extensive history — Nash played for D’Antoni for four years in Phoenix, earning four consecutive All-Star berths and a pair of MVP awards during that time. The veteran point guard later played for D’Antoni again in Los Angeles with the Lakers.
A source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post that D’Antoni and Nash remain “tight.” Berman also refers to D’Antoni as an “X’s and O’s offensive master,” suggesting he’d be a good match for a first-time head coach like Nash, who admitted last month that he was hired more for his relationships and culture-building skills than his tactical acumen.
D’Antoni has been linked to head coaching openings in Indiana and New Orleans and would presumably favor one of those jobs over an assistant position. However, it’s unclear if he’s a finalist for either the Pacers’ or Pelicans’ vacancy.
If he’s willing to accept an assistant role, D’Antoni makes sense as a target for the Nets, given his connection with Nash and the franchise’s deep pockets. Brooklyn made Jacque Vaughn the NBA’s highest-paid assistant, so presumably the team would be amenable to making an aggressive offer for D’Antoni as well.