October 30, 2020
Brooklyn Nets Hire Mike D'Antoni, Ime Udoka As Assistants To Steve Nash, Per Report

The Brooklyn Nets and new head coach Steve Nash are working to round out the team's coaching staff for the 2020-21 season. Per a report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hall of Fame point guard and two-time NBA MVP has tapped his former Phoenix Suns coach, Mike D'Antoni, to join him on the bench in Brooklyn as an assistant.

Former player and longtime San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers assistant Ime Udoka will also be joining Nash's stuff, according to Wojnarowski.

D'Antoni, 69, made the surprising decision not to re-up as head coach of the Houston Rockets in September, just one day after his squad had been eliminated from postseason play at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers. During four seasons with the franchise, he compiled a record of 217-101 for a winning percentage of 68.2. The Rockets advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 2018, pushing the eventual-champion Golden State Warriors to the brink before falling in Game 7.

He was said to have been the top candidate for the 76ers open coaching job earlier this fall. However, Philadelphia ultimately opted to hire former Los Angeles Clippers headman Doc Rivers to fill the role once he became available.

D'Antoni played a pivotal role in Nash's ascension as an elite player in the association during the mid-2000s. The four years they spent together with the Suns represented the high watermark for Nash's playing career, as he evolved from an All-Star into a multi-time MVP. Meanwhile, Phoenix logged multiple 50- and 60-win campaigns with the duo directing the effort.

Mike D'Antoni coaches Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns during a 2006 game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Getty Images | Jeff Gross

In total, he has 16 years of experience as a head coach in the league, which is an invaluable resource for first-time coach Nash.

Udoka, meanwhile, spent last season in Philadelphia after having previously served for seven seasons as an assistant to the Spurs' Gregg Popovich. In 2014, he was part of the staff that led San Antonio to an NBA championship, as the team beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat in five games in the NBA Finals.

Before making his move to the sidelines, the 43-year-old spent seven years in the league as a player, splitting time with the Spurs, Lakers, New York Knicks, and Portland Trail Blazers. As tracked by Basketball Reference, he averaged 5.2 points and 2.2 rebounds over 316 career games. He also connected on nearly 36 percent of his three-point attempts.

As shared last week by The Inquisitr, former All-Star power forward Amar'e Stoudemire will reportedly be joining the staff in Brooklyn as well. He, too, was part of Phoenix's core during the D'Antoni-Nash era. Stoudemire also played for D'Antoni as a member of the Knicks.