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

by November 12, 2012

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.”