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.”