According to multiple reports, there’s mutual interest between current Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni and the Marshall Thundering Herd. Despite front-office support in LA, it goes without saying that D’Antoni isn’t exactly the most popular guy in the locker room. (When asked about Marshall gauging his interest in their coaching vacancy, D’Antoni did his best to brush the rumors aside, though he didn’t refute them.) Per CBS Sports and the LA Daily News:
“I would think his days are numbered based on Kobe saying he had no interest in playing for him next year,” a source said. “If he isn’t with the Lakers, I believe he will be at Marshall because there is mutual interest.”
The source added that Marshall has donors willing to pony up money in an attempt to woo D’Antoni.
D’Antoni has been the head coach of the Lakers since the early part of the 2012-13 season, but injuries and chemistry issues have married his time in Los Angeles. He has also been the head coach for the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks.
“Come on, guys,” D’Antoni said. “Come on. OK, good. That ESPN is all over it. That’s good.”
Marshall recently fired Tom Herrion, who had a 67-67 mark in four seasons. Has D’Antoni recently talked with any Marshall representatives?
“I hear from them all the time,” D’Antoni said. “I’m the head of their capital [fundraising] campaign. I’m close friends to them. Whatever they need, I try to do. But who knows.”
D’Antoni played for the Thundering Herd from 1970 to 1973 before being selected in the second round of the 1973 NBA draft to play for the defunct Kansas City-Omaha Kings. D’Antoni eventually played overseas in Italy where he became Olimpia Milano’s all-time leading scorer. D’Antoni’s brother, Dan, also played and coached at the school before serving on Mike’s staffs with both the Suns and Lakers.
But D’Antoni obviously prefers to coach with the Lakers. He has two years left on his contract, though only one of them is guaranteed at $4 million. The Lakers do not plan to evaluate D’Antoni until after the season.