The Portland Trail Blazers have recently fired Terry Stotts, their head coach. The decision from the franchise was understandable, as the Portland Trail Blazers lost in the first round to the Denver Nuggets, despite the Nuggets having some key rotation players injured, namely Jamal Murray and Will Barton.
There will obviously have to be a replacement, and there are coaches around the league who would love to coach a superstar like Damian Lillard if given the opportunity. It seems as though Mike D'Antoni is one of the coaches interested, which was reported by Sam Amick.
But as this process begins, and with so many believing the quality of this hire will impact the organization’s future with franchise centerpiece Damian Lillard, there’s a counter-intuitive name to add to the conversation whose coaching profile likely eclipses any of the forthcoming candidates: Brooklyn assistant coach Mike D’Antoni. A source with knowledge of D’Antoni’s situation said he has serious interest in the Portland position, though it remains to be seen if it will be reciprocated.
Still, with D’Antoni playing such a pivotal part in the Nets’ success alongside Steve Nash after his game-changing four-year run in Houston in which his Rockets came so close to derailing the Golden State dynasty, his is as intriguing a name as there is in the open market. Even if it doesn’t exactly match up with Olshey’s stated wish list.
Mike D'Antoni has had a lot of success coaching superstar guard, as he has coached both Steve Nash and James Harden during his career. While those teams never won championships, they were always competitive against top-tier teams. While Mike D'Antoni hasn't been hired yet, he would be somebody who could potentially take Damian Lillard to a new level.