College - Marshall
Once a fierce division rival throughout the mid-2000’s, on November 12, 2012, the Lakers named Mike D’Antoni the 24th head coach in franchise history (20th in the Los Angeles era). D’Antoni, a veteran of 10 NBA seasons as a head coach with Denver, Phoenix and New York, owns a 388-339 (.534) all-time regular season record entering his first season on the Lakers bench.
Prior to joining the Lakers, D’Antoni most recently served as an assistant coach under Mike Krzyzewski on the gold medal-winning US Men’s National Basketball Team during the 2012 London Olympics. In what was his second stint with the Men’s Senior National Team, D’Antoni was also an assistant coach for Team USA’s gold medal run at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Hired to become the 24th head coach in Knicks franchise history on May 13, 2008, D’Antoni guided the 2010-11 team to their first winning season since 2000-01 and concluded his four-year tenure in New York as the sixth-winningest coach in team history with a mark of 121-167 (.420). In each of his three full seasons on the Knicks bench, his teams finished in the Top 10 league-wide in scoring (4th in 2009, 9th in 2010 and 2nd in 2011).
Prior to joining the Knicks, D’Antoni spent five seasons with the Phoenix Suns (2003-08), compiling a 253-136 (.650) overall record. In his four full seasons as head coach in Phoenix (2004-08), D’Antoni was named 2004-05 NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Suns to a franchise record 62-20 (.756) mark, posted four straight 50-plus win seasons (two 60-plus win seasons), won three Pacific Division titles and a recorded a 232-96 (.707) record over that span. In his time with the Suns, D’Antoni’s teams led the NBA in scoring for three consecutive years (2004-07). In 2004-05, the Suns averaged 110.4 points, increased their win total from 29 to 62 and registered a 16.2 point-per-game increase (from 94.2), the biggest single-season jump for any NBA team since the advent of the shot clock in 1954-55. Upon the conclusion of his time in Phoenix, D’Antoni ranked as the third-winningest coach in franchise history and had the second best winning percentage of any Suns coach ever.
D’Antoni, who also spent four years in the NBA as a player with the Kansas City-Omaha Kings and San Antonio Spurs (3.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, 130 games) and another 13 playing in Italy, made his NBA head coaching debut with the Denver Nuggets during the lockout shortened 1998-99 season. Originally joining the Nuggets as Director of Player Personnel for the 1997-98 campaign, in his lone season on the bench with the Nuggets, he posted a 14-36 (.280) overall record. Following a year scouting for the San Antonio Spurs, he joined the Portland Trail Blazers, where he served one season as an assistant coach (2000-01) before returning to coach one final season in Italy (2001-02), where he had previously coached for seven years from 1990-97.
As a player in Italy, D’Antoni was voted the Italian League’s all-time greatest point guard in 1990 following a career that saw him become Milan’s all-time leading scorer and lead the team to five Italian League titles, two Cups of Europe, two Cups of Italy, one Korac Cup and one Intercontinental Cup. Selected to play on the Italian national team for the European Championships in 1989 and part of the Milan team that competed in the inaugural McDonald’s Open in 1987, D’Antoni stayed in Italy following his playing career and cemented his legacy as an Italian League legend, coaching Philips Milan to two first place finishes over four seasons and Benetton Treviso also to two first place finishes in four seasons while twice being voted the league’s Coach of the Year. Following his final year with Benetton Treviso in 2001-02, D’Antoni came back to the NBA as an assistant coach with the Suns in 2002 and served in that capacity until assuming head coaching duties 21 games into the 2003-04 season.
Fluent in English and Italian, D’Antoni has co-authored two books: Playmaker, with former Milan head coach Dan Peterson, and Vivendo Giacando, with Italian sportswriter Tullio Lauro. He also served as an analyst for NBA.com following the 1998-99 regular season and worked as a broadcast analyst for Team USA throughout the 2003 FIBA Americas Men’s Olympic Tournament in San Juan.
Born on May 8, 1951, the Mullens, WV native played at Marshall University and graduated in 1973 as the school’s career assist leader (659; now second to Greg White’s 701) while also being named GTE Academic All-American that same year.
Mike’s father, Lewis, is a legendary high school basketball coach in West Virginia and Ohio and was inducted into West Virginia’s Sports Hall of Fame in May, 2004. His brother, Dan, served as an assistant coach with him in Phoenix and New York. Both Mike (1997) and Dan (1990) have been enshrined in the Marshall University Hall of Fame. On September 10, 2011, Mike’s jersey no. 10 was retired by the Thundering Herd.
D’Antoni and his wife Laurel, whom he met in Milan, Italy, have one son, Michael.