The Nets recently announced that their new head coach, Steve Nash, added Mike D’Antoni and Amare Stoudemire as assistants. As you know, Steve played for Mike with the Suns (2004-08) and the two of them changed the NBA and revolutionized the game of basketball.
Stephen A. Smith, electrifying (not for the right reasons) ESPN sports personality touched on the hiring and he started off well enough.
“He’s right where he belongs,” Smith said of D’Antoni. “He’s an assistant coach, particularly for Steve Nash. Now, if anybody should hire him as an assistant, it’s Steve Nash. They had great success together in Phoenix, they won 65% of their games, they went to a couple of conference championships even though they never made it to the Finals and clearly, that was when Mike D’Antoni really made a name for himself revolutionizing the game of basketball on the offensive side of the ball because of what he was able to do with their offense.”
Ding. Ding. Ding. Enough said. Or not, because you know, Smith doesn’t know how to shut his mouth. The props and respect went right out the window when he proceeded to then slam D’Antoni, saying he was “lucky to get that job”. What came out of his mouth next was just plain wrong and disrespectful.
“Because here’s the reality of the situation, you’ve been a head coach — Phoenix, New York, L.A., Houston — never got to an NBA Finals. Obviously, injuries and bad circumstances had a lot to do with it. He got close, but never got there, right? Mike D’Antoni an assistant in Brooklyn is cool as long as he is not passing over other dudes that have been starving for an opportunity.”
There are a lot of really good coaches that haven’t got to the NBA Finals and yes, there are many people that deserve a chance and haven’t got one but you have to give credit where it’s due. D’Antoni has been a good coach and has a lot of experience and will be able to help Nash in his transition.
Smith wrapped it up after that.
“Mike D’Antoni to me has proven that he can innovate and his style of play can be very entertaining. There’s no question about that. And if that is what matters to you, that is a priority, Mike D’Antoni is your guy, whether it is as an assistant or as a head coach.”
That was a nice little blurb, despite what came before it. The middle definitely wasn’t the cream filling of an Oreo cookie, though. I like the reunion of D’Antoni, Nash and Amare. Honestly, I’m still waiting for the final Domino. When is Shawn Marion coming too?