D’Antoni added to Nash’s Brooklyn Nets coaching staff

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Brooklyn Nets announced on Friday they have hired Mike D’Antoni as an Assistant Coach, reuniting the former Phoenix Suns bench boss with newly-hired Nets head coach Steve Nash.

Nash won two league MVP awards while playing point guard for D’Antoni with the Phoenix Suns in the mid-2000s.

Last month, the 69-year-old D’Antoni stepped down after four seasons as head coach of the Houston Rockets.

The Nets also announced the hiring of Ime Udoka as an Assistant Coach and Amar’e Stoudemire as a Player Development Assistant.

“We’ve assembled an experienced staff of high-character individuals with varied backgrounds, both on and off the court, that will help create a solid foundation for me and our players,” said Nash.

“When I set out to build this staff, I wanted to put together a committed group that would connect with our players and help put them in the best position to succeed as a team.

“With coaching and playing experience at the highest level and a deep background in player development, I’m confident that we’ve put the right people in place to lead us forward.”

Led by four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, the Nets are bidding to be a strong playoff contender in 2021-2022.

This will be the third time D’Antoni and Nash have hooked up on an NBA team. Nash played under D’Antoni from 2004-2008 with the Suns, then D’Antoni coach Nash for two seasons on the Los Angeles Lakers, 2012-2014.

D’Antoni, a two-time NBA coach of the year, was 217-101 in four seasons as Rockets coach, advancing once to the Western Conference finals and three times to the conference semi-finals.

File photo shows Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash talking with head coach Mike D’Antoni during an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets in Phoenix in 2008. PHOTO: AP