One of the hallmarks of Brad Stevens’ tenure as the Celtics’ head coach was his defensive intensity. Now that Stevens is set to making a coaching hire, could he end up going in a completely different direction?
According to ESPN’s Jordan Schultz, the Celtics are among the teams who have shown interest in hiring Nets’ assistant coach Mike D’Antoni. Others vying for his services include the Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic.
D’Antoni has long been known as an offensively-focused coach, whose teams regularly rank among the best in the league in scoring, but struggle defensively. His last head coaching stint was with the Rockets from 2016-2020. In that time, Houston’s average offensive rank league-wide was fourth – compared to 16th defensively.
In total, D’Antoni has been an NBA head coach for 16 seasons. Between stops with the Nuggets, Suns, Knicks, Lakers, and Rockets he’s made the playoffs 10 times, with three Conference Finals apperances – all losses.
This is the first time D’Antoni has been linked to the Celtics, whose head coaching search officially began last week. In his report, Schultz added the Nets will grant teams request to interview with D’Antonio, but not until after the playoffs. Given the way Brooklyn has been playing, it could be a bit before the Celtics or any other team gets to speak with him, which could lead them to explore other options.
Here’s some other names to know as the search continues:
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.