The Pelicans have reached a deal with veteran coach Mike D’Antoni that will make him a coaching consultant to Willie Green and his staff in 2021/22, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The plan is for D’Antoni to periodically spend time with the Pelicans’ coaching staff during Summer League, training camp, and the season, according to Wojnarowski.
Word broke last week that D’Antoni, who spent last season as an assistant on Steve Nash‘s staff in Brooklyn, would be stepping away from his role with the Nets. However, reports at the time indicated that he wasn’t retiring and still hoped to land a head coaching job in the future.
D’Antoni, whose most recent head coaching gig was with the Rockets up until 2020, has coached five different NBA teams and ranks 21st on the league’s all-time list with 672 regular season wins. However, at age 70, he may be running out of time to get another shot. Only two head coaches in NBA history – including current Spurs coach Gregg Popovich – have held that role into their 70s, according to HoopsHype.
Collins spent the last seven years as an assistant in Golden State, but he and the Warriors agreed to part ways in June. Collins, who has received some head coaching interest in recent years, worked with Green from 2016-19 when both men were members of Steve Kerr‘s staff.
The Pelicans have issued a press release confirming the hirings of D’Antoni – whose title is “coaching advisor” – and Collins. The team will also bring back several other assistants, including Fred Vinson, Teresa Weatherspoon, and Casey Hill.