Monday, November 12th, 2012 at 3:05 pm  |  34 responses

Mike D’Antoni Reportedly Wants Nate McMillan as Defensive Assistant Coach

Fear not, Lakers fans. The team won’t suddenly forget about defense now that Mike D’Antoni is in charge. He is looking to Nate McMillan as an assistant who specializes on the defensive side of the ball. Reports CBS Sports: “New Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni is expected to reach out to fellow Team USA assistant Nate McMillan as a possible defensive assistant on his staff, a league source said. McMillan, fired as head coach of the Trail Blazers in March, was a presumed candidate for the Lakers’ head coaching vacancy but was never contacted by the team. Pairing D’Antoni and McMillan would strengthen the staff’s connection with Olympians Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard while quelling concerns that D’Antoni is too offense-oriented. In his most recent head coaching job in New York, D’Antoni was willing to accept the hiring of defensive assistant Mike Woodson, even though such a move hastened his ouster from the job. D’Antoni’s brother, Dan, is viewed as a lock for the Lakers’ staff. Phil Weber, a key member of D’Antoni’s staff in Phoenix and New York, also is believed to be a candidate, sources said. D’Antoni is said to be very high on former Knicks assistant Kenny Atkinson, but he’s under contract with the Hawks.”

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  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Mike, probably hire an assistant who is actually a good defensive coach. Not just one with a reputation as one despite there being no reason for said reputation.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    This story should be, “Mike D’Antoni wants Nate McMillan as his assistant, because, they are friends.”

  • Yesse

    Wasn’t expecting this one. D’Antoni sounds kinda cool after all.

  • reference


  • clydesays

    I can’t see that working. That’s like good cop (D’Antoni: “Take any shot you want, just get it up the floor quickly…”) VS. bad cop (McMillan: “You WILL play defense & NOT break plays OR you will sit on the bench!!!”)

  • El Black Mamba

    If true this hiring doesn’t sound to bad, still not pjax level with these two but sounds alot better than just pringles

  • Unforgettable


  • LakeShow

    Oh HELL yes!!!
    My favorite players and coaches over the last 15 years are all on the same team now. Things looking REAL nice in LA.

  • Dacre

    Did you mean nates not a defensive coach?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk


  • iceman

    Smart Move, at least he knows what he’s good at and can get someone whose good at the other end, lessens the blow of not getting one of the greatest coach’s of all time.

  • wet

    get Jeff Van Gundy

  • Junior Taylor

    When did McMillan become a defensive guru? Just because he played next to the Glove doesn’t mean the man’s a defensive wizard. Coaches can draw up all the defensive schemes in the world but the players still have to go out there and get timely stops.

  • Rainman

    what stats are you looking at? Just curious, cuz ive also got the opinion that he’s pretty good

  • Rainman

    Nash and Kobe are good cop/bad cop. so why not have that in the coaching department too? lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Defensive rankings of McMillan-coached teams: 24*, 17, 17, 27, 27, 28, 26, 17, 13, 15, 14, 23* | *partial season

    He’s coached TWO teams to an above average defense in 12 years. He’s not a good defensive coach at all.

  • bigA

    But we need him announcing games!

  • G$

    Meh. Hear me now and believe me later- A lot of Nate Dog’s defense first reputation came from him forbidding shooters from shooting and runners from running. So the games were always low scoring. It wasn’t a defensive scheme per-se as much as a tempo. And it ain’t the D’Antoni tempo. Not by a long (slow) shot.

  • LeroyShonuff

    *slow clap* finally somebody says it. Points per game does not make a team good defensively, it’s points differential, points per possession, rebounding margin and opponents shooting percentage. Tempo can make teams seem good defensively when truthfully they suck

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    should’ve just hired Nate McMillan as the head coach…

  • RallyMonkeyUSA

    anyone who critisizes a coaching tandum of Mike D and Nate McMillan are crazy…the 2 have helped coach USA to 2 gold medals. Nate is a great defensive coach and Mike is crazy smart offensively. Im a Laker fan and I’m thrilled to have Mike here. He is going to bring back an excitement that hasnt been associated with the team in years. My only worry is that Howard gets involved offensively so he’s satisfied with the team enough to resign. I honestly have a hunch that if Mike D doesnt win the championship this year, the Lakers are going to persuade Coach K to turn pro and coach here. That would be AWSOME!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    I like him announcing games hes funny when he gets riled up

  • Vince

    Well… D’Antoni and Big Mac will be an interesting combo…

  • nick

    not like Nash is defensive minded either…. and you have dwight, the best defender in the league, what is he gonna do just say “nah i dont feel like bein the best defender anymore cause D’Antoni is coaching….come on it dont really matter whose coaching, just as long as they aren’t doing Princeton

  • candlewood jhay


  • candlewood jhay

    **too bad

  • candlewood jhay


  • Ugh

    Do Mike D’Antoni that’s a f^&$ing spectacular defensive ranking! I can see him on the sideline at Basketball USA matches:
    “Look at Nate! What a genius! He’s making them stand in front of the other team’s players when they’re shooting! That’s intense! I gotta hire this guy!”

  • JackPackage

    I like Nate McMillan and I think he’d be great getting a fresh start on a young, rebuilding team. But he had problems last year with dissent in Portland’s locker room… Portland! Who on that team was even remotely considered a ‘difficult’ personality? Nobody, and now he’s going to LA? Dwight is an attention-whore man-child, Ron Artest is legitimately insane, Kobe is a dick (An extremely talented one but still…) and D’Antoni isn’t exactly known for managing difficult guys very well. LA need a restructuring of their roster, very few of their players fit together or fit the system/s they try to play. And Dwight Howard is possibly the most overrated player in the league.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    their coaching staff is basically bipolar if this happens. Nate McMillan couldn’t be anymore different than D’Antoni, except he’s not actually a good defensive coach.

  • Comment_System

    Why can’t Sam Mitchell find work?

  • RKJ92

    Quit correcting people you clown. Nobody gives a sh*t.

  • LakeShow

    He’s not a very good coach.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    Please forgive me for my poor grammar. Youz a punk asss faggottt