Mike D'Antoni: Wikis

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Mike D'Antoni
Mike D'Antoni coaching the Phoenix Suns during a game.
Position(s) Point guard
Jersey #(s) 5, 8, 10, 14
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 185 lb (84 kg)
Born May 8, 1951 (1951-05-08) (age 58)
Mullens, West Virginia
Career information
Year(s) 1973–1990
NBA Draft 1973 / Round: 2 / Pick: 2

Selected by Kansas City-Omaha Kings

College Marshall University
Professional team(s)
Career stats (NBA and/or ABA)
Points     605
Rebounds     262
Assists     363
Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Career highlights and awards

As a player:

As a coach:

  • 2x Italian League titles
  • 1x Korac Cup
  • 1x Cup of Italy
Coaching

Mike D'Antoni (born May 8, 1951 in Mullens, West Virginia) is a former basketball player and is currently the head coach of the NBA's New York Knicks.[1] While head coach of the Phoenix Suns, he won NBA Coach of the Year honors for the 2004-2005 NBA season after the Suns posted 33 more wins than the previous season. D'Antoni, who holds American and Italian dual citizenship, is known for favoring a fast-paced offense-oriented system.

Contents

Player career

After a college career at Marshall University, D'Antoni was drafted by the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in the 2nd round of the 1973 NBA Draft. He was all-NBA Rookie Second Team choice for 1974. After 3 seasons for the Kings (1973-1976), he played for the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association in 1976, and for the San Antonio Spurs (again in the NBA) in 1977. His Spurs career lasted just two games before he found an opportunity to play successfully overseas.

D'Antoni was then called by the Italian team of Olimpia Milano, starting a great European career which saw him become the club's all-time leading scorer. He was voted the league’s top point guard of all time in 1990 and he paced his team to five Italian League titles, two Euroleague titles, two Cups of Italy, one Korac Cup and one Intercontinental Cup. Being of Italian origin, D'Antoni was also selected to play on the Italian national team for the European championship in 1989.

D'Antoni's nickname in Europe was Arsène Lupin for his ability in stealing balls from other players.

Kobe Bryant, star player for the Los Angeles Lakers, grew up in Italy during the height of D'Antoni's European career and cites D'Antoni as the player he loved most growing up as a child. During his early career with the Lakers, Bryant chose to wear the numeral 8, D'Antoni's old jersey number with the Olimpia Milano.

Coaching career

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Italy

D’Antoni began his career as head coach for his most loyal club, Milan: here he remained for four seasons, from 1990 to 1994, leading the club to the 1992 European Championship Final Four and 1993 Korac Cup. He was then chosen to coach Benetton Treviso, another major Italian basketball club. During his tenure (1994–1997), the team captured the Cup of Europe and Coppa Italia (in 1995) and won the domestic league title in 1996–97. Coach D’Antoni's Italian teams went to the playoffs each season, and he was twice voted the league’s Coach of the Year. In 2001, D'Antoni returned to Italy for a second stint as the coach of Benetton Treviso. In his one season back in Europe, he led the team to a 28–8 record, a league championship and 2002 Euroleague Final Four, coaching a team filled with many former NBA stars.

Early NBA

The first NBA coaching job held by D'Antoni was with the Denver Nuggets in 1997-98 as the club’s director of player personnel. He also did some broadcasting work with TNT during that season. The next year, he became Nuggets head coach, but was fired after a poor performance during the strike-shortened 1998-99 season. D'Antoni then went on to become a scout for San Antonio Spurs during the 1999-2000 season. He was also an assistant for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2000-01.

Phoenix Suns

In 2002, he made his return to the NBA as a Phoenix Suns assistant. In 2003, D'Antoni was hired with 61 games left in the season as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns[2] and, despite leading the team to a poor record in the second half of the year, he received a vote of confidence for producing inspired play from an injury riddled team. The next season, D'Antoni helped the team to acquire Steve Nash, which began an incredible turnaround for the franchise. After the addition of Nash, the D'Antoni-coached Suns won fifty or more games in four consecutive seasons. D'Antoni won the NBA Coach of the Year Award during his first full season with the Suns. His style, dubbed "Seven Seconds or Less", was described in a book of that name.

Team USA

D'Antoni was selected to the coaching staff for the Team USA Olympic Basketball squad under head coach Mike Krzyzewski and participated in the 2006 FIBA World Championship, winning a bronze medal.[3]. Pundits believe his familiarity with the three-point shot and the zone defense, hallmarks of the international game, will be valuable assets to the team.

D'Antoni has dual citizenship in the United States and Italy: this made him the first Italian ever to lead an NBA team. He is fluent in both English and Italian.

New York Knicks

D'Antoni coaching the New York Knicks in 2009.

As of May 5, 2008, D'Antoni was told that he was free to speak with other teams about a coaching job next season, although Steve Kerr requested he stay with the Suns.[4] On May 9, D'Antoni was made an offer by the New York Knicks.[5] The next day, D'Antoni accepted the 4 year, $24 million offer and became the Knicks' head coach. [1][6]

Coaching record

Legend
Regular season   G Games coached   W Games won   L Games lost
Post season  PG  Games coached  PW  Games won  PL  Games lost
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL Result
DEN 1998–99 50 14 36 .280 6th in Midwest Missed Playoffs
PHX 2003–04 61 21 40 .344 6th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
PHX 2004–05 82 62 20 .756 1st in Pacific 15 9 6 Lost in Conf. Finals
PHX 2005–06 82 54 28 .659 1st in Pacific 20 10 10 Lost in Conf. Finals
PHX 2006–07 82 61 21 .744 1st in Pacific 11 6 5 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
PHX 2007–08 82 55 27 .671 2nd in Pacific 5 1 4 Lost in First Round
NYK 2008–09 82 32 50 .390 5th in Atlantic Missed Playoffs
NYK 2009–10 34 14 20 .412
Career 555 313 242 .564 51 26 25

References

External links


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