Phoenix Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni (or, per SI.com, former Phoenix Suns head coach) works under Mike Krzyzewski on Team USA and had a major influence on this year’s Duke team. After a summer with D’Antoni, Krzyzewski incorporated some of the NBA coach’s innovative offensive techniques to allow Duke to spread the floor and maximize the talent of its wing players, most notably Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler. As The Charlotte Observer noted yesterday, Krzyzewski learned a good deal from his Team USA assistants and should consider bringing in an outside hire to fill Johnny Dawkins’ place on the bench; we assailed that argument, writing that “Krzyzewksi isn’t looking to add Jim Boeheim, Mike D’Antoni or Nate McMillan to his staff.”
Well, if the reports are correct, then D’Antoni is available now. Would he be more attractive than Nate James, Chris Carrawell, Jason Williams, Chris Spatola or any of the other Duke-affiliated potential coaching suspects? Naturally. He’s a former NBA Coach of the Year and, as SI.com’s Jack McCallum writes, is “the man credited with reinvigorating fast-break basketball in a league gone stale.”
This is all in jest, of course. D’Antoni would never become a college assistant after being one of the best coaches in the professional ranks for years, not even for Krzyzewski. But it doesn’t hurt to aimlessly conjecture. Right?
–by Ben Cohen