Mike D'Antoni is reportedly interested in becoming the next head coach of the Orlando Magic if the position is available this summer. However, if the Magic are serious about becoming a championship team, they shouldn't even consider hiring the former New York Knicks coach.
Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel explained the situation via Twitter:
Hearing whispers that Mike D'Antoni would be very interested in a vacant Magic coaching job.— Brian K. Schmitz (@MagicInsider) May 11, 2012
UPDATE: Saturday, May 12 at 12:04 p.m. ET
According to the New York Post, D'Antoni could take a year off from basketball instead of taking the Magic head coaching job if it becomes available during the offseason.
Though the rumor is Mike D’Antoni has some interest in taking his speedball offense to Orlando if Stan Van Gundy is fired, a person close to the former Knicks coach said he is just as likely to spend next season at home in New York “for personal reasons’’ as his son finishes high school in Westchester.
D'Antoni was under a lot of pressure to succeed in New York this season, and ultimately it didn't work out. The best move for him would probably be to take a year off and recharge physically and mentally.
He's still going to be a sought after head coach even if he takes a year off from the NBA.
The Magic are going to do everything they can to convince superstar center Dwight Howard to stay with the team long-term, and hiring D'Antoni, a coach with little playoff success, would be a terrible idea.
Current Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy is an excellent coach, and it would be incredibly foolish to replace him with an inferior coach such as D'Antoni. That makes no sense at all.
It was clear that D'Antoni and Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony did not see eye to eye this season, so taking over a team led by another drama queen in Howard would probably not work out well.
One of the major criticisms of D'Antoni's coaching career is that his teams don't play defense, and it's a very valid criticism.
His teams consistently play poor defense in the playoffs, which is why he's never made the NBA Finals despite leading some immensely talented Phoenix Suns squads over the last decade.
Over the last five years, D'Antoni's teams missed the playoffs twice and lost in the first round twice. He didn't finish this season with the Knicks because he resigned in March.
The Magic need a head coach with championship experience who can motivate the players to perform at a high level in the postseason. D'Antoni won't do that for the Magic.
Schmitz speculated that D'Antoni might be able to convince upcoming free-agent point guard Steve Nash to join him in Orlando if he's offered the head coaching job:
And might D'Antoni be able to bring along his old point guard Steve Nash to Orlando? Might that keep Dwight Howard in town?— Brian K. Schmitz (@MagicInsider) May 11, 2012
This would be a terrible idea. Nash is 38 years old and won't play at an elite level for much longer. Unless he's surrounded by a ton of talent, he won't lead a team to a championship as the No. 2 guy.
Hiring D'Antoni and signing Nash are two equally bad ideas that would cripple the Magic.
If Orlando makes either of these moves, it will lose Howard in the next year for sure.