Nets To Hire Mike D’Antoni, Ime Udoka As Assistants

A pair of notable coaches are joining Steve Nash‘s staff in Brooklyn as assistants, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that Mike D’Antoni and Ime Udoka are finalizing deals with the Nets.

D’Antoni, who parted ways with the Rockets following the team’s elimination from the postseason in September, ranks 20th among head coaches on the NBA’s all-time list of wins. In addition to coaching the Rockets, he has been on the sidelines for the Lakers, Knicks, Nuggets, and – most notably – the Suns, where he lead two-time MVP Nash to back-to-back appearances in the Western Finals.

By joining the Nets, D’Antoni will reunite with Nash and provide the sort of veteran experience that the first-time head coach could use on his staff.

As for Udoka, he has never been an NBA head coach, but he has proven his bona fides as an assistant, serving on Gregg Popovich‘s staff in San Antonio for seven years before joining the Sixers for the 2019/20 season.

There was a time when it looked like Udoka would receive a shot at a head coaching job this year — he was linked to the Nets, Bulls, Pacers, Knicks, and 76ers jobs, but was passed over in each instance. Now he’ll get the opportunity to work under Nash in Brooklyn, as the Nets – led by a healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving – look to make a deep playoff run in 2021.

Nash’s staff will also include former Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn, who was retained as an assistant after missing out on the permanent coaching job. When word broke that the Nets were retaining Vaughn, Wojnarowski reported that he would be the highest-paid assistant in the NBA — it’s not clear if that’s still the case, but it’s probably safe to assume Brooklyn spared no expense bringing in D’Antoni and Udoka.

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20 thoughts on “Nets To Hire Mike D’Antoni, Ime Udoka As Assistants

  1. korn_cakes33

    That’s actually a huge get. Getting those two to be assistances to Nash to groom into being a legit head coach is amazing. I hate the Nets, but that’s a great and logical signing.

  2. Freddie Morales

    Brooklyn is going to sign Ibaka or Millsap, bring back Harris and trade for a solid backcourt defensive player.

    • jonscriff

      They don’t need either of them , They need harris more and he’ll be cheaper. Ibaka and milsap are gonna want 15+ mil. They have Prince behind Durant.

  3. DynamiteAdams

    That bench is actually stacked but the most inexperienced head coach with the most decorated assistant coaches makes sense

  4. DimitriInLA

    What a terrible terrible move. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. This brings massive pressure to Nash—and a tendency to meddle to the club overall. If Nash falters—and as a first year coach he will—D’Antoni would be his speculative replacement. And who do the players trust as their coach—Nash or D’Antoni? It creates conflict.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Not really too much of a good thing, it’s more like too many cooks spoil the broth. Why have the teacher as an assistant to his former student?

  5. harden-westbrook-mvps

    It’s hilarious how much praise D’Antoni gets now that he’s in Brooklyn, whereas before he was criticized relentlessly over these past few years.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Harden was criticized more. DAntoni did what Rockets allowed. He would never have traded Capela. Capela on Rockets. They would have had a shot against Lakers. Morey gets too much credit. Never enough blame. New owner is not about winning. He’s shown it since day one.

  6. jessaumodesto

    I hired Mike D Antoni as an assistant coach in NBA2k. The previous season we won 48 games. With him as AC we won 50 games. We did suffer a slew of injuries the previous year and that may have been the reason for our 48 wins vs. 50. We got ousted both years in the first round but are looking
    Good this year and perhaps we make a longer run, maybe even to the finals.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      Nba2k is a video game? A simulation only. Not sure how what you’re saying applies here…

  7. mikey

    The only bad thing about the hires is it’s honestly possible that they’ll need to hire a whole new staff next year bc they’re all going to be head coaching candidates next year lol

  8. AshamedMethGoat

    Meh move. Bad former head coach stepping into an assistant role is non-news.

    Wake me up when he gets another HC job so I can bash his ill-conceived concepts and bad decisions.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      Okay, sure. And while you’re sleeping he’s earning millions to coach in the NBA. Salty much?

  9. KnickerbockerAl

    Come on now, Its a great hire. Those three should have won a ring in Phoenix. They would love to bring first one to Bklyn. Nash is a rookie coach. DAntoni is not a me first guy. He’d love to be part of a winner. We all know the best thing you can do is surround the new guy. With proven experience and talent. It’s a great signing for Nets. Shows they are serious about next yr. Now we’ll see how serious they are about their roster.

  10. jump shot

    D’Antoni will probably be a better assistant coach than he was a head coach. If I’m a player, even in a ymca pickup game, and both Nash and D’Antoni offer me advice towards playing better, I’m listening to both – but I’m thinking Nash is a 2-time mvp and one of the best to ever play the game, so I’m listening to him more. I respect D’Antoni but I wouldn’t look at him as an all-time great coach. He hasn’t won anything besides regular season games.
    That said, I think Yogi has put together a great staff for the Nets, and the right guy will be standing up during the games.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Nothing better than to have a mentor on your bench. Nash knows he can always go to him. Success is team thing. Nash is the head guy. Loved Nash as player. Not a Bklyn fan. But I’m rooting for Nash.

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