Monday, November 12, 2012


Mike D'Antoni as a player, was drafted from Marshall University by the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in the 2nd round of the 1973 NBA Draft. D'Antoni had NBA stints w/ both the Kings (1973-76) & San Antonio Spurs (1977-78). He also played in the ABA w/ the Spirits of St. Louis (1976-77) and in Italy w/ Olimpia Milano (1978-1990).  

He is the "all-time" leading scorer for Olimpia Milano in the Italian League. D'Antoni was voted the league's "all-time" greatest point guard in 1990 and helped take his team to 5 Italian League titles, 2 Euroleague titles, 2 Cups of Italy, 1 Korać Cup & 1 Intercontinental Cup.

(Note: It is widely speculated that Mike D'Antoni was Kobe Bryant's favorite player while growing-up in Italy — ultimately choosing to wear a No. 8 jersey to start his career because that was his childhood idol's number in the Italian League; in which his father Joe "Jellybean" Bryant also played in.)

Mike D'Antoni | #8 | PG | Olimpia Milano (1978–1990)

Mike D'Antoni as a coach, began extensively in Italy before ending-up in NBA. D'Antoni's coaching stints in Italy included the Philips/Recoaro Milano (1990-94) & Benneton Treviso (1994-97, 2001-02). He led Philips/Recoaro Milano to a 1992 European Championship & 1993 Korac Cup. While coaching Benneton Treviso, D'Antoni won both the Cup of Europe & Coppa Italia in 1995, a National League Title in 1996-97 and League Championship in 2003.

D'Antoni's NBA head coaching experience includes the Denver Nuggets (1998-99), Portland Trail Blazers (2000-01), Phoenix Suns (2003-08) and most recently, the New York Knicks (2008-12). D'Antoni has compiled a coaching career 388-339 record. He led the Suns' famed "7 Seconds Or Less" offense to the Western Conference Finals in 2005 & 2006. After being hired by Donnie Walsh for a lucrative 4-year contract worth $24 million -as the New York Knicks head coach in 2008, D'Antoni opted to resign last season from the Knicks (admid the Linsanity hoopla) after a dismal 18-24 start.

Mr. Pringles is currently the "new" Los Angeles Lakers coach — agreeing to a three-year deal worth approx. $12 million w/ a team option for a fourth-season. It has been a whirl-wind chain of events over the NBA weekend especially for Lakers fans — what's even more intriguing is that D'Antoni recently had knee replacement surgery earlier in the month and is expected to miss some time in rehabilitation. Love him or hate him, the hiring of Mike D'Antoni has caused an unprecedented social media frenzy — as 2Pac's "All Eyez On Me" plays in the background.

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