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Mike D’Antoni happy to be on bench as 76ers associate coach

Then-Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni

Then-Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni gestures during the second half of an NBA game against the Sacramento Kings in Los Angeles on Feb. 28, 2014. Photo Credit: AP / Mark J. Terrill

Mike D’Antoni was enjoying himself playing golf in West Virginia when new 76ers executive Jerry Colangelo called him and asked him to work with the Sixers.

In typical D’Antoni fashion, he said, why not.

“I love to coach,” said D’Antoni, the 76ers’ new associate head coach under Brett Brown. “I knew the people involved and liked them, got excited and you know, why not?”

The former Knicks coach didn’t necessarily throw his hat in the ring for the Nets’ vacancy, but he wouldn’t mind if the job with the 76ers leads to another head-coaching job.

Referring to the Nets’ opening, D’Antoni said, “I don’t know. Like I said, I’m day-to-day. I get so old, I just kind of live, do what I do, and I’m happy.”

D’Antoni had great success with the Suns but was a combined 66 games under .500 in his last two jobs with the Knicks and Lakers.

“I was very prepared not to coach,” he said. “So this is all gravy and I’m enjoying this. Hopefully I can be positive, see where it goes.

“I think every coach wants to eventually. It’s not like I go home and think about it. It’s not on my radar. If it happens, it happens. I’m very happy doing what I’m doing right now.”

Going for gold again?

Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James have a chance to make history and be a part of four U.S. men’s Olympic teams.

They are among 30 finalists looking to play for the 2016 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team in Rio de Janeiro this summer. Anthony and James helped the United States to the bronze medal in 2004 and gold medals in 2008 and 2012.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen as soon as I leave out of here,” said Anthony, who played on a sore right ankle on Monday. “This summer is a long way away for me to be thinking about that right now.”

The other finalists: Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, James Harden, Paul George, LaMarcus Aldridge, Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Jimmy Butler, Mike Conley, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green, Rudy Gay, Gordon Hayward, Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Love, Klay Thompson and John Wall.

The official 12-man roster will be announced later this year.

Fast breaks

This was the start of a three-game homestand and a stretch in which the Knicks will play 10 of 13 at the Garden before the All-Star break. “The opportunities you have to win at home, you have to capitalize on,” Derek Fisher said . . . Kevin Seraphin (bruised right rib) was unavailable.

New York Sports