Nets Rumors: Mike D'Antoni Stepping Away from Full-Time Role on Steve Nash's Staff

Adam WellsJuly 28, 2021

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni yells from the bench during the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Mike D'Antoni reportedly won't return to the Brooklyn Nets as a full-time assistant coach next season. 

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, D'Antoni is stepping down from his role on Steve Nash's staff. 

Wojnarowski added the two-time NBA Coach of the Year is expected to pursue head coaching jobs in the future. 

The Nets announced D'Antoni's hiring as part of Nash's staff on Oct. 30. The 70-year-old spent six seasons coaching Nash when he was a player with the Phoenix Suns (2003-08) and Los Angeles Lakers (2012-14). 

Phoenix made the playoffs in each of D'Antoni's four full seasons as head coach. He replaced Frank Johnson midway through the 2003-04 campaign after the Suns got off to an 8-13 start. 

The Suns made the Western Conference Finals in 2004 and 2005. Nash won back-to-back MVP awards in 2004-05 and 2005-06. 

Nash was named a head coach in the NBA for the first time when the Nets hired him in September 2020. The Hall-of-Fame point guard filled out his staff with a series of well-regarded assistants, including D'Antoni, Ime Udoka and Jacque Vaughn. 

Udoka was hired as head coach of the Boston Celtics in June after Brad Stevens got promoted to president of basketball operations. 

It's unclear at this point if D'Antoni will remain with the Nets in a part-time role. He met with the Portland Trail Blazers twice this offseason about their head-coaching vacancy, but he ultimately lost out on the job to Chauncey Billups. 

D'Antoni has a 672-527 career record in 16 seasons as a head coach with five different teams. 

The Nets finished last season as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 48-24 record. They lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games in the second round of the playoffs.