According to multiple outlets including ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Mike D’Antoni is stepping down as lead assistant on Steve Nash’s coaching staff with the Brooklyn Nets. He is expected to make another run for another head coaching opportunity.
Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni is stepping away from a full-time coaching role on Steve Nash’s staff, sources tell ESPN. D’Antoni is expected to pursue head coaching jobs again in the future. He was a finalist for the Portland opening this year.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 28, 2021
D’Antoni’s decision is considered a surprise due to the fact that there are currently no head coaching vacancies. He was a finalist for the Portland Trail Blazers head coaching position that went to Chauncey Billups. D’Antoni was in the rumor mill for the Indiana Pacers job before former Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle got that job.
According to Woj, the day-to-day grind of being an assistant coach was getting to be too much.
Woj on The Jump on Mike D’Antoni: “He came in and helped Steve Nash through that first season as a head coach. He’d like to be a head coach’s again but I don’t think he wants to do the day-to-day grind of being an assistant.”— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) July 28, 2021
Says D’Antoni might be more open to hands-off work.
Mike D’Antoni is the second coaching loss for Brooklyn. The Boston Celtics hired Ime Udoka as their head coach earlier in the month. He was replaced by David Vanterpool.
D’Antoni’s past head coaching stints include the Nuggets, Suns, Lakers, Knicks, and Rockets.