Tag: Mike D’Antoni

Mike D'Antoni

Country roads leading D’Antoni back to Marshall?

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Mike D’Antoni could be on the move pretty soon, leaving a struggling Los Angeles Lakers squad that has suffered immensely under his lead and become the laughing stock of the NBA, along with the Philadelphia 76ers, of course.

Even Kobe Bryant seems embarrassed to be associated with the squad, going so far as to say: “I don’t talk to players on teams that are 20 games under .500.” The purple and gold are currently 24-47 and fifth in the Pacific Division.

According to a source, there is mutual interest between Mike D’Antoni and his alma mater, Marshall University, over the vacant head coaching position for the Thundering Herd. The University has reached out to the former New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns head coach to potentially bring the 62-year-old back to his native West Virginia.

“I would think his days are numbered based on Kobe saying he had no interest in playing for him next year,” a source told CBSSports.com. “If he isn’t with the Lakers, I believe he will be at Marshall because there is mutual interest.”

D’Antoni, who signed a three-year $12 million contract with the Lakers on November 12, 2012, might be lured away from Los Angeles as numerous donors to the Marshall squad are more than willing to cough up money in attempt to bring D’Antoni to the school to turn the program around.

The Marshall Thundering Herd went 11-22 overall and 4-12 in conference play over the 2013-14 season, losing in the first round of Conference USA tournament play to Old Dominion on March 12th.

D’Antoni played for Marshall from 1970-1973 and has not completely thrown out the idea of returning to the green and white.

“I hear from them all the time,” D’Antoni said of his alma mater. “I’m the head of their capital [fundraising] campaign. I’m close friends to them. Whatever they need, I try to do. But … who knows.”

Report: Marshall reaches out to Mike D’Antoni regarding head coaching vacancy

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Less than two weeks after the school announced that head coach Tom Herrion had resigned, Marshall has reportedly set its sights on the NBA for its next head coach.

According to a report by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, the school has reached out to Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni to gauge his interest in the position. D’Antoni, who has never coached at the collegiate level, is both a native of West Virginia and a Marshall alum.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Thundering Herd have pursued D’Antoni before and made this latest inquiry — which coincides with his uncertain future in Los Angeles — because they “always sound him out” any time Marshall has an opening in a bow to D’Antoni’s stature in school history.

D’Antoni has plenty of experience coaching at the professional level, having been the head coach of four different NBA franchises and two different franchises in Italy (two stints at Benetton Treviso). It was also noted in the story that D’Antoni, who has two years remaining on his contract with the Lakers, isn’t expected to make such a move. However, in a story written by Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com it was stated that there is mutual interest.

In four seasons at Marshall Tom Herrion posted a record of 67 wins and 67 losses, leading the Thundering Herd to postseason appearances in 2011 (CIT) and 2012 (NIT). Marshall loses just one senior from this season’s team, 7-foot-2 center Yous Mbao.