Mike D'Antoni life and biography

Mike D'Antoni picture, image, poster

Mike D'Antoni biography

Date of birth : 1951-05-08
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Mullens, West Virginia
Nationality : American
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2011-04-21
Credited as : Basketball coach NBA, head coach for the New York Knicks, NBA Draft

1 votes so far

Mike D'Antoni is an Italian-American former basketball player and is currently the head coach of the NBA's New York Knicks. While head coach of the Phoenix Suns, he won NBA Coach of the Year honors for the 2004–05 NBA season after the Suns posted 33 more wins than the previous season. D'Antoni, who holds American and Italian dual citizenship, is known for his expertise in facilitating a fast-paced offense-oriented system.

Career history
As player:

Kansas City-Omaha Kings (1973–1976)
Spirits of St. Louis (1976–1977)
San Antonio Spurs (1977–1978)
Olimpia Milano (1978–1990)

As coach:
Philips/Recoaro Milano (1990–1994)
Benetton Treviso (1994–1997)
Denver Nuggets (1998–1999)
Benetton Treviso (2001–2002)
Phoenix Suns (2003–2008)
New York Knicks (2008–present)

With a revamped roster and a renewed team spirit, Mike D’Antoni is poised to lift the Knickerbockers and the world’s greatest basketball city back to elite status.

Currently in his third season as Knicks mentor, one of the NBA most successful coaches of the last decade has put his unique imprint on The City Game with a trademark hi-octane offensive attack.

In 2009-10, the Knicks ranked second in the NBA in three-point field goals (743), trailing only Orlando (League record 841). Their 743 three-pointers represented the second-highest total in club history, behind only the 823 racked up by D’Antoni’s first Knicks team in 2008-09. Last year’s Knicks ranked ninth in the NBA in scoring (102.1), tied with East top-seed Cleveland. Coupled with their 105.2 (fourth in NBA) in 2008-09, it marked the first time in nearly two decades in which the Knicks put together back-to-back 100-plus point seasons (1991-92 and 1992-93; last of seven straight 100-plus seasons).

Now, following a headline-making off-season and a wave of new acquisitions, D’Antoni hopes to make Year Three in New York a season to remember.

“The biggest thing is that, hopefully, in the third year, we’re starting to do things that are geared toward a winning basketball team,” says D’Antoni, who was named the 24th head coach in Knicks franchise history on May 13, 2008. “We’ve added pieces like Amar’e Stoudemire, Anthony Randolph, Raymond Felton, Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike. We’re starting to add winning pieces and hopefully it’ll translate into more wins this year and put us on the road toward being a successful team.”

D’Antoni owns a 61-103 (.372) record in two seasons in New York, and an overall 328-275 (.544) NBA head coaching record over eight seasons. The Knicks’ first victory of 2009-10 - a 117-111 triumph over New Orleans on Nov. 2, 2009 - represented D’Antoni’s 300th career NBA coaching win, as he became the 54th head coach in League history to reach that mark.

This season, Mike hopes that victory becomes a nightly habit for the Knicks and the city’s rabid fans.

“They’re very passionate,” says D’Antoni of a New York fandom that has sold out the Garden 49 times over the last two seasons. “I think they were very excited about Amar’e coming; they haven’t had a superstar in a long time. They’ve always supported us. The last two years were unbelievable, not only with their attendance but also with their encouragement and the passion they’ve shown. They deserve a winner and hopefully we’ll be able to deliver.”

D’Antoni came to New York after piloting the Phoenix Suns to four straight 50-plus win seasons and three Pacific Division Championships with a trademark high-speed offensive game.

D’Antoni recorded a 253-136 (.650) record in five years with Phoenix. The NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2004-05, he is the third-winningest coach in Suns franchise history (253), trailing only John MacLeod (579) and the late Cotton Fitzsimmons (341). His .650 winning percentage is second in Suns history to Paul Westphal’s .685.

“As an executive, you couldn’t be working with a better guy and a better coach than Mike, in trying to do this with,” says Knicks President, Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh. “(His) ability to keep his eye on where we’re going, I appreciate that a lot. Coaches have a tendency to make it more difficult sometimes, because they’re under such pressure. He seems to handle that really well. I love working with him, personally. He’s so positive in his style, he’s so well-thought out. He just shows confidence, and the players like playing for him.”

Originally joining the Suns as an assistant coach in June 2002, D’Antoni, 59, succeeded Frank Johnson as head coach in December 2003. In his four full seasons as Suns headmaster (2004-05 through 2007-08), the Suns won 50-plus games each year, including two 60-plus-win campaigns (62-20 in 2004-05, 61-21 in 2006-07). D’Antoni’s Suns won three straight Pacific Division crowns (2005 through 2007) and advanced to the Western Conference Finals twice (2005 and 2006).

D’Antoni’s uptempo offense enabled the Suns to lead the NBA in scoring for three consecutive years (2004-05 through 2006-07). In 2004-05, D’Antoni’s 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. The Suns averaged better than 110 points in three of D’Antoni’s four full seasons at the helm.

D’Antoni was the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2004-05, as the Suns became the second of three teams in NBA history (1979-80 Celtics, 2007-08 Celtics) to follow a 50-loss season with a 60-win campaign. With the Suns, he was honored four times as NBA Western Conference Coach of the Month, and earned head coaching honors at NBA All-Star 2007 in Las Vegas, guiding the West to a 153-132 victory. D’Antoni was named Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager of the Suns on Mar. 10, 2006.

Joining the Denver Nuggets as director of player personnel in 1997-98, D’Antoni’s NBA head coaching career began the following year, when he led the Nuggets to a 14-36 mark in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 campaign. He also served one season (1999-2000) as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs, and one year (2000-01) as an assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers under Mike Dunleavy.

D’Antoni’s passion and love for basketball has taken him from the mountains of West Virginia to the professional ranks of the NBA, ABA, across Italy and throughout Europe, as his resume includes over three decades of pro hoop experience on both sides of the Atlantic. USA Basketball named him to the Men’s Senior National Team Program coaching staff for 2006-08 as an assistant, and his implementation of a wide-open offense played a major role in Team USA’s Gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

D’Antoni has again served on Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s staff for USA Basketball’s Senior Men’s team for 2010-12. And in October 2010, D’Antoni was in the international spotlight once again when his Knicks joined the Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Regal FC Barcelona and AJ Milano in NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS.

Just prior to joining the Suns, D’Antoni coached Benetton Treviso of the Italian League, leading the club to a 28-8 mark and the Italian League championship in 2001-02. An Italian League legend, D’Antoni also coached Benetton from 1994-95 through 1996-97, capturing the Cup of Europe and Cup of Italy in 1995 and the Italian League title in 1996-97. He also piloted Philips Milan for four seasons (1990-91 through 1993-94) and led the club to the 1993 Korac Cup. During his tenure in Italy, D’Antoni - a dual citizen of the United States and Italy - led his teams to the playoffs each season and was twice voted the league’s Coach of the Year. In 2008, Mike was named one of the 50 Most Influential Personalities in European Club Basketball history by Euroleague Basketball.

Over four NBA seasons with the Kansas City-Omaha Kings (1973-74 through 1975-76) and San Antonio Spurs (1976-77), D’Antoni averaged 3.3 points over 130 games. He also played in 50 games (3.5 ppg) for the legendary Spirits of St. Louis in the ABA’s final season (1975-76). With the Kings in 1974-75, he was a roommate of current Houston Rockets Head Coach Rick Adelman.

After a two-game stint with the Spurs in November 1976, D’Antoni moved to Italy where he played 13 seasons for Milan of the Italian League and became the club’s all-time leading scorer. Mike was voted the League’s all-time greatest point guard in 1990 and paced Milan to five Italian League titles, two Cups of Europe, two Cups of Italy, one Korac Cup and one Intercontinental Cup.

He was selected to play on the Italian national team for the European Championships in 1989 and was a part of the Milan team that competed in the inaugural McDonald’s Open in 1987. In 1978, D’Antoni tried out for the Chicago Bulls, but opted to remain in Italy where he stayed until he returned to the NBA as the Nuggets’ director of player personnel in 1997.

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). He was a GTE Academic All-American in 1973.

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 in Phoenix before joining him on the Knicks staff. Both Mike (1997) and Dan (1990) have been enshrined in the Marshall University Athletics Hall of Fame.

D’Antoni and his wife Laurel, whom he met in Milan, Italy, have one son, Michael.

Read more

Please read our privacy policy. Page generated in 0.1s