Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Could Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni be interested in the Marshall job if his current NBA contract isn’t renewed?


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall officials have contacted Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni about the vacant coaching job at his alma mater, according to an ESPN report.

With the Lakers currently 24-47 and spiraling toward their worst finish since 1975, D’Antoni’s future with the team is murky enough that Marshall was at least willing to check his interest level. He has two years left on his Lakers contract that pays him $4 million annually.

While the ESPN story framed a D’Antoni-Marshall reunion as unlikely, a subsequent CBSSports.com report cited another source who predicted the coach could wind up in Huntington.

“I would think his days are numbered based on Kobe (Bryant) saying he had no interest in playing for him next year,” a source told CBSSports.com. “If he isn’t with the Lakers, I believe he will be at Marshall because there is mutual interest.”

Marshall fired Tom Herrion earlier this month on the heels of an 11-22 season that dropped his four-year record to 67-67. D’Antoni, who was born in Mullens, frequently remains in contact with Marshall, where he was a standout for the Herd before being chosen in the second round of the 1973 NBA draft.

However, D’Antoni has never coached at the college level—serving instead for seven years as a coach in the Italian pro league before beginning a 15-year career in the NBA that included stints as a personnel director and scout. During 12 seasons as an NBA head coach, D’Antoni owns a 452-418 career record highlighted by two berths in the Western Conference finals with Phoenix.

At age 62, D’Antoni might be a long shot for future NBA head coaching opportunities if he’s forced out by Lakers.

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  • Tim C

    I don't think D'Antoni will agree to become Marshall's next coach. But if he would it might be because he just wants to come home.

  • RPP

    D'Antoni coaching at MU is about as likely as the President of the United States becoming mayor of Clay, WV.

  • Mike

    I would hope D'Antoni has not sunk as low as to coach basketball at MU. Why would an NBA coach want to destroy is career. Not one NBA team would ever offer him another chance. Talk about going from the Penthouse to the outhouse!

    • Aaron

      He's 63. How many more NBA jobs are out there for him?

  • WVU fan in Boston

    I think that would be a huge bonus and plus for the Herd BB program. As for Aaron's comments below, please reference both Pitino at Louisville and Calapari at UK. Both NCAA and NBA, and back to NCAA coaches.

    • John

      You are talking Louisville and Kentucky. Two premier programs. Marshall does not have that kind of reputation or history. If he takes this job, he is desparate and has no where else to go.

      • Aaron

        How is home desperate, particularly when he doesn't have to work?

      • Larry


  • Professor

    You farmers in WV should already know.....
    the chickens always come home to roost.
    If that is not correct I am stating this is home for Mike. You need to put pressure on the AD and the boosters to pursue him until the road closes. Mike would put MU on the map again. He wouldn't need to keep anyone around for an assistant or recruiting. Kids would come to him because of his name and his resume. These days kids know its all about the name you are affiliated with. Mike knows enough people in the league that he could help any players with talent get to the next level. Just get him and pay him!!!!

    • John

      They would know him well enough. Couldn't win when he had Carmelo and Amare Stoudamaire and he drove the Lakers right into the crapper with Kobe. That will get kids pumped up.

      • Interesting123

        Yea because the Knicks and Melo are really tearing up the league without him. The Lakers have a D-league squad. Red Auerbach couldn't win with this group of players. The overpaid Kobe who is declining in skills and cant stay on the floor. They have a PG in Nash, which is the key to Dantoni's system, who is old and cant stay on the floor. Not a recipe for a championship.

    • Aaron

      I do not doubt that kids will come to him. In fact, I think I said just that with my comment regarding credibility.

      The assistant would be two fold. First, he's never recruited. It's not as simple as calling some kid up. There are rules, regulations and guidelines. That's why most teams have a "recruiting coordinator." It is not only to direct other coaches towards talent, it is to make sure they are acting within the NCAA rules and regulations.

      Second, Coach D'Antoni will be 63 years old when next season tips off. Bob Bolen. Enough said.

  • John

    Is it a possibility? I guess. Is it probable? I don't think so.

  • cutty77

    Has Hayseed Hambrick signed Doc yet ?

  • Aaron

    A match made heaven, in my humble opinion. He would need to retain a strong assistant and heir apparent with college experience,Bob Bolen would be the perfect candidate to aid him in recruiting. With his NBA experience he would have credibility with recruits and his name would draw in older fans. If Mike Hamrick should do everything in his power to make this happen.

    • jd

      Will never happen. Marshall couldn't afford him and he would not come anyways.

      • Bill

        I don't think that Mike coming to Marshall is a money issue...it would be a great score for the Herd, but I will be shocked if they sign Mike. I think the cultural adjustment for his family would be too much.

      • Aaron

        He chose Marshall University once and that seemed to work out pretty good for him.

        Why not again.

      • Interesting123

        According to what? Is it a long shot? Sure. According to Mike Dantoni himself, in regards to the MU job, "never say never."

        • Larry

          Seems like a very logical career move to me, you go from making millions coaching the most revered NBA team in history, to Marshall.

          • Interesting123

            You act like he is gonna quit the Lakers and come to MU. This all hinges on him getting fired due him having a team full of NBADL players and being expected to win the west, along with Kobe's big mouth. If he gets fired he still has guaranteed money to be paid by the Lakers and can come home be close to his 100 yr old dad.

          • Aaron

            Your comment should have read...

            "Seems like a very logical career move to me, you go from making millions coaching the most revered NBA team in history, to home."

            Very well put.