Suns reunion in Brooklyn: Mike D’Antoni agrees to come as Steve Nash’s assistant

Former Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni has agreed to come to the Brooklyn Nets to assist his former player Steve Nash.

Ex-Philadelphia 76ers lead assistant coach Ime Udoka, who earlier interviewed for the New York Knicks job, will also come on board.

Top news breaker Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported the news.

The Nets shortly confirmed the hiring and released an official statement from Nash.

“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,” Nash said in the statement.

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.

D’Antoni will bring the much-needed experience to aid Nash in his first season as an NBA head coach.

D’Antoni coached Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire, who earlier agreed to be part of the Nets coaching staff, in Phoenix in the mid-2000s. That Suns team revolutionized the NBA with their seven seconds-or-less offense that helped them reach the Western Conference Finals in 2006 against the Dallas Mavericks. Nash also played the best stretch of his career under D’Antoni winning back-to-back MVPs in 2005-06.

Nash hinted at D’Antoni’s hire during his virtual town hall on Tuesday.

“People talk about the Phoenix teams I played on, and this sort of revolutionary tone of how it impacted the game, but the truth be told, Mike D’Antoni’s brilliance in much of that was he allowed it to evolve instead of getting in the way,” Nash said.

This is not the first time that a rookie head coach hires his former mentor to become his assistant. In 2013, Jason Kidd also sought his former coach Lawrence Frank during his first year as head coach, ironically, with the Nets. The partnership, though, quickly deteriorated and ended in an ugly falling out.

Meanwhile, Udoka will also get reunited with his former peers at San Antonio Spurs in Brooklyn. Udoka, Nets general manager Sean Marks and lead assistant Jacque Vaughn, and assistant coach Tiaggo Splitter have all been together in San Antonio at one point in the early part of the decade.

Adam Harrington, Jordan Ott, and Ryan Forehan-Kelly round up Nash’s staff.

The Nets will be one of the favorites next season with their top players Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving expected to return at full health.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

The 3 most fun New York Knicks teams of the last decade

New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony

The New York Knicks haven’t had the best go of it the last few seasons.  The seasons always start with high expectations and lofty goals.  But as much as fans want to be optimistic about the Knicks, they simply haven’t performed to ‘New York standards’.

The Knicks haven’t had a winning record since the 2012-13 season.  That was when watching the Knicks was fun.  While they do give the fans some excitement from time-to-time, it’s nothing like earlier this decade.  Here’s the 3 most fun Knicks teams of the last decade.

2012-13

This was the last time that the Knicks made the playoffs.  They had a record of 54-28 behind head coach Mike Woodson.  Their play had them in 1st place in the Atlantic and 2nd overall in the Eastern conference.  The roster consisted of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert.  However, Stoudemire missed the season due to injury.

Others bringing more fun to the table were J.R. Smith, Rasheed Wallace, Steve Novak, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni, Kenyon Martin, Chris Copeland, Ronnie Brewer, Quentin Richardson, Kurt Thomas, James White and Marcus Camby.

This team packed the Garden each game with expectations of making a run to the finals. This Knicks team brought fun for the 3rd year in a row.  It was Anthony’s career season with points per game at 28.7.  He led this team with confidence and it showed.  This team was good and they have fun doing it.

They brought high-scoring games, high-flying dunks which the Knicks haven’t seen on a consistent basis since.  Fans also fell in lvoe with Novak’s championship belt celebration and Wallace’s “Ball don’t lie!”  The most fun was when the Knicks defeated the Boston Celtics in the first-round of the the playoffs, 4-2.  That was the Knicks first playoff series win since losing in the conference finals in 1999-00.  The Knicks fell to the Indiana Pacers in the following round

2011-12

This season of the Knicks had a lot of highs and lows. The Knicks had a record of 36-30 with ultimately losing in the 1st round of the playoffs under Mike Woodson.  He took over after Mike D’Antoni was fired after a 18-24 record.  However, making the playoffs, while exciting, wasn’t the peak.  It was Jeremy Lin and ‘Lin-sanity’.  That is a stretch of games that Knicks fans won’t ever forget.

Lin bursted onto the scene and gave Knicks fans the most excitement they’ve had in a long, long time.  It was a feel-good story of basically a ‘no name’ taking the basketball world by storm.  The game winner against Toronto, career-high 38 against Kobe Bryant’s Lakers, first double-double against John Wall’s Wizards, etc.  There was literally nothing stopping Lin.  His confidence grew each game and so did the fans excitement.  That stretch of games during ‘Lin-sanity’ is something that the New York faithful may never see again.

2010-11

Mike D’Antoni’s Knicks with a 42-40 recorded had another 1st round playoff exit.  Melo and Amar’e, Felton had good help around this squad.  The likes of Chauncey Billups, Wilson Chandler, Toney Douglas, Landry Fields, Jared Jeffries, Danilo Gallinari, Ronny Turiaf and Renaldo Balkman.  A lot of old school Knicks gems on this roster.

This season was when Anthony was traded to the Knicks from the Denver Nuggets. Anthony joined the Knicks were a standing ovation from the Garden faithful.  Fans had hope that he’d be the guy, along with Stoudemire, to resurrect the Knicks.  Those two, and Chandler later on, did they best they could and brought excitement to the Garden in the likes of which we haven’t seen in 7 seasons.

The beginning of the last decade was an exciting team for both players and fans.  Hopefully, the New York Knicks can bring us more exciting, fun times in the near future.

The New York Knicks need a new ‘Amar’e Stoudemire & Carmelo Anthony’

New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony

The New York Knicks need a lot more than just a new team president and “re-brand.”  Well, the team doesn’t need a “re-brand” at all.  The Knicks are currently valued at 4.6 billion, the most expensive team in the league.  The brand is doing just fine.

This season Knicks continue to be a roller-coaster.  After a 4-game win steak, fans were thinking playoffs.  Then after a miserable performance against the Wizards, the playoffs float away.

A new team president would help over a “re-brand.”  Bringing in a new team president will give the Knicks the opportunity to start fresh and target new free-agents.  Can Leon Rose be that guy once he takes over?  That’s still up for debate but we hope.

When Rose takes over, the Knicks need to hope that he can bring in free-agents or players that can change the course of the franchise.  The Knicks need players like Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.

Those two players were the only two that had the drive and determination to try and resurrect the New York Knicks.  Most likely the Knicks will have to build through the draft.  But, getting some free-agents, or through trades, would also help.

Players say that they want to come to New York because it’s the ‘Mecca’ of basketball, which it is.  However, when players come fans will get excited but those players don’t have that ‘it’ factor.  Stoudemire and Anthony had the ‘it’ factor.  They changed the course of the Knicks for the better and while it was only a short time, they did.

If the Knicks want turn around their franchise they need players like those two.  Yes, a team president will help get those players, but the players are the one’s who perform on the court.  Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were suppose to be the next two and look how that worked out.

The Knicks needs to find their next Stoudemire and Anthony, wherever and however that may be.  Otherwise, it’s going to be another long decade.

Curiosity caught the New York Knicks?

New York Knicks considering Amar'e Stoudemire in return?

The New York Knicks could be doing some more due diligence this off-season.

Yahoo! Sports Chris Haynes reported that the Knicks were in attendance for workouts involving former Knick Amar’e Stoudemire and Monta Ellis.  The Knicks were one of 12 teams seeing what these former NBA stars still have in the tank.

Stoudemire, 36, has been playing, on-and-off, for the Hapoel Jerusalem since 2016.  He averaged 12.6 points per game in 2016.

Monta Ellis, 33, last played in 2017 with the Indiana Pacers where he averaged 8.4 points per game.

Both players believe that they can still play and can contribute to a NBA team.  Maybe, they want a run at a title before they officially hang it up?

It seems pretty odd that the Knicks would be in attendance for these former NBA players workouts.  The Knicks, who have been on this re-building with youth kick, might just be curious with these possible comebacks.  It could have been possible that the Knicks were looking for that veteran leadership and mentor-ship for their final roster spot.

However, with the reports of Marcus Morris ditching the San Antonio Spurs for the Knicks, this could only have been morbid curiosity.  Do not expect the Knicks to sign one of these over-the-hill players.  Those New York Knicks are no more.