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#pounditSaturday, September 23, 2023

Report: Mike D’Antoni considered front-runner for 1 head coach job

Mike D'Antoni smiling

Dec 29, 2019; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni reacts during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Mike D’Antoni has spent the last two years as an assistant coach and coaching advisor, but there is at least one team that may want him to run the show next season.

D’Antoni is viewed as one of two finalists for the Charlotte Hornets head coach job, according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer. The other is Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson. Neither candidate has met with Hornets owner Michael Jordan yet, which will likely be the final step before the team makes a decision.

Fischer says D’Antoni has long been viewed as “the true front-runner for the position.” There is a belief that he could help turn LaMelo Ball into an elite point guard. D’Antoni is known in part for getting the most out of Steve Nash in Phoenix and James Harden in Houston. That is reportedly something that appeals to Jordan and company.

The Hornets fired head coach James Borrego after they went 43-39 this season and lost during the play-in tournament.

One big knock on D’Antoni is that he is 71 and has never won an NBA title, though he has had a total of 10 playoff appearances and three conference finals berths.

A former Hornets star recently said he thinks hiring D’Antoni would be a huge mistake. Jordan may not view it that way.


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