Mike D’Antoni has coached at the professional level for his entire coaching career, most recently running the New York Knicks before deciding that he’d had enough of coaching in the Big Apple.
Currently an assistant on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff at the Olympics, the question regarding D’Antoni is what his next move will be.
Could we see D’Antoni on a college bench in the near future? Well, the idea began to grow on him as he accompanied his son on some college visits, according to Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic.
D’Antoni, 61, never envisioned himself as a college coach. He can be stubborn and headstrong, and he badly wanted to prove his system could work in the NBA. But in the process of taking his son on college visits, his perspective began to change.
“You think about it,” D’Antoni said. “You look at it and think, ‘Oh, that could be fun.’ One thing I do know from taking my son around is that anytime you step on a college campus, you feel energy.
“You feel an excitement that’s not there, normally, where the business (of basketball) takes over. And obviously, when you feel the excitement; things go through your head.”
Of course, with D’Antoni stating in the article that he’s moving back to the Phoenix area ‘with or without a job,’ the immediate thought of some may be the state of affairs at the major college in the area.
Arizona State currently has a head coach in Herb Sendek, but the Sun Devils have won just 22 games over the last two seasons.
And with a style of play that has been cited in some circles as one reason for the many empty seats at Wells Fargo Arena, this could be a big year in regards to the future of the program.
Sendek was not hired by new Vice President for University Athletics Steve Patterson, who already has prodded the coach to be more visible in the community. Sendek has 22 wins in the past two years, and his system carries a different stigma: boring.
That’s an uninformed perception, and it should change with the unveiling of Jahii Carson in a few months. If not, the current ASU coach will be on the proverbial hot seat.
The thought of D’Antoni running his “eight seconds or less” system at the college level would excite just about any fan base should he decide to try coaching at the college level.
Could that happen in the near future? Never say never.