Mike D’Antoni to Miss Worlds

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Due to injury, Team USA will be without one of its key members as it travels to Turkey for the World Championships later on this summer. The fallen man isn’t a player; he is instead on the coaching staff: Mike D’Antoni.

According to ESPN, the Knicks’ head coach is dealing with severe back pain, and has been advised to skip out on the tourney:

Sources told ESPN.com that D’Antoni is not expected to need surgery but has been advised to forsake the considerable international travel Team USA has scheduled this summer. D’Antoni will undergo treatment and rehabilitation to prevent the condition from worsening before the start of NBA training camp in late September.

D’Antoni, sources said, will be with Team USA throughout its next round of practices next week in New York — which will be capped by an Aug. 15 exhibition against France at Madison Square Garden — but then stay behind when the Kevin Durant-led squad heads to Europe for exhibitions in Spain and Greece before the World Championships begin Aug. 28.

A disc problem in D’Antoni’s back, sources said, bothered him off and on during the regular season and worsened in recent weeks while D’Antoni was in Las Vegas, first with the Knicks’ summer-league squad and then with Team USA … It’s believed that Toronto Raptors coach Jay Triano, already a member of the Team USA staff, will take D’Antoni’s spot on the bench in Turkey under head coach Mike Krzyzewski. The other assistants are Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim.

This marks the second Knick who will not be able to take part in Team USA play this summer. Due to the lack of proper insurance for potential injuries, D’Antoni’s new power forward in New York, Amar’e Stoudemire, won’t be in Turkey either.