Mike D’Antoni is finalizing a deal to become an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets, reuniting him with his old MVP point guard, Nets coach Steve Nash, sources told ESPN.
Sources say the Nets are hiring D’Antoni and critically acclaimed assistant Ime Udoka, who has spent seven of the past eight seasons for Gregg Popovich’s side with San Antonio Spurs.
Nash built a strong coaching team for his first season as head coach, including head coach Jacque Vaughn. The Nets are expected to be one of the NBA’s championship contenders with the return of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant’s Brooklyn debut.
Udoka spent seven years as an assistant under Popovich with Spurs and the 2019-20 season was the top assistant with Brett Brown and Philadelphia 76ers. He has been a candidate for a number of head coaching jobs in recent years.
As for D’Antoni and Nash, this was their third time together, including a memorable run from 2004 to 2008 with the Phoenix Suns seeing the birth of the “Seven Seconds or” offense. less “and Nash’s appearance as a Hall of Fame protection in the system.
D’Antoni coached Nash at the Lakers (2012 to 2014) in a less successful post-injury period that limited Nash’s playing time and effectiveness.
D’Antoni, 69, is one of the most creative and successful coaches of this generation. He spent four years with the Houston Rockets before opting to leave without a contract extension at the end of the 2019-20 season.
D’Antoni is 217-101 in his four seasons as the Rockets manager, once making it to the Western Conference finals and three times to the semifinals. D’Antoni, Twice NBA Coach of the Year, has led the Rockets to the highest win rate at the Western Conference in the past four years (0.682), behind only the Toronto Raptors (0.695) in the entire tournament.