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#pounditSunday, February 5, 2023

Ex-NBA Coach of the Year eyeing return to sideline?

Mike D'Antoni

One prominent former NBA coach could be getting the itch to start calling out the Xs and Os again.

Ex-Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni spoke this week with Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. D’Antoni, who is working this season as an advisor for the New Orleans Pelicans and their head coach Willie Green, revealed that he would not rule out a return to coaching.

“Willie’s been great to work with,” said D’Antoni. “We talk and it’s great having a dialogue. He’s doing a phenomenal job. I enjoy it for right now. I try to add what I can. It’s all good. We’ll see [about next season]. I’m not ruling it out. Too young [at 70 years old] to rule anything out.”

D’Antoni has 16 total years of head-coaching experience with five different NBA teams. He is also a two-time Coach of the Year winner. D’Antoni left the Rockets after the 2019-20 season but has remained close to coaching ever since. In addition to his work with the Pelicans this season, D’Antoni was an assistant for the Brooklyn Nets last season on head coach Steve Nash’s staff.

It is rare to see NBA coaches who are in their 70s, but it does happen. Gregg Popovich, who will turn 73 next month, is still coaching the San Antonio Spurs. Hubie Brown is another example of a coach who went into his 70s.

If D’Antoni does decide to return to the sideline, there will definitely be plenty of interest. He came close to landing at least one notable job as recently as last summer.

Photo: Derick E. Hingle-USA Today Sports


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