According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Mike D’Antoni is in Denver to meet with Nuggets management over the teams vacant head coaching position. Earlier this season, the Nuggets fired Brian Shaw who struggled in his year and a half tenure going 56-85. Melvin Hunt was hired as the interim head for the remainder of the season. He will be a candidate for the head coaching position next season.
D’Antoni has coached for the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles in his career. His one season in Denver was in 1999 and one to forget. D’Antoni only won a putrid 14 out of 50 games and changed his role as a scout in San Antonio and Portland for the next few seasons. He resumed coaching in 2003 and stuck around the league for eleven consecutive seasons. He took 2015 off.
As a head coach, Mike D’Antoni’s career record is 455-426. His career playoff record is 26-30 and led the Phoenix Suns to the Western Conference Finals in 2005 and 2006. The NBA named D’Antoni Coach of the Year in 2005. He has been a face of NBA coaching since the turn of the century.
The Nuggets are in turmoil looking for stability at head coach. Denver had two head coaches last season who were both unsuccessful. In a stacked Western Conferece, the Nuggets lacked the talent and teamwork which most of the conference possesses. Their stars like Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried have requested a trade if the Nuggets don’t make significant changes to the roster this season. I would consider D’Antoni a significant change. The question is, does D’Antoni want to work for another rebuilding team?
The last time D’Antoni was on a rebuilding team, he was coaching the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014 and the team missed the playoffs with the worst record in the Pacific Division. He resigned as head coach at the end of that season. The Nuggets now are better than the 2014 Lakers. The Nuggets offensive talent fits what D’Antoni wants to do on offense.
Mike D’Antoni is an offensive genius. His offense is quick as every player on the court is constantly flying up and down the court. He runs constant ball screens and causes the defense to play out of position. Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler, and Danillo Gallinari are speed players who play their best when controlling the speed of the game. Even though those players are disgruntled I think they would stay in Denver of D’Antoni is the head coach. This the start of a long offseason in Denver.