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.