The Nets now have almost as much star power on their coaching staff as they will have on the floor to help guide superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the coming season. New coach Steve Nash on Friday announced a staff that includes two-time NBA coach of the year Mike D’Antoni along with high-profile assistant Ime Udoka, who was considered a prime candidate for a job this season after spending a year on the 76ers’ bench.
As part of the formal announcement, the Nets also confirmed the previously reported hiring of Amar’e Stoudemire as a player development assistant, and the retention of previous Nets assistants Jacque Vaughn, Adam Harrington, Jordan Ott, Tiago Splitter and Ryan Forehan-Kelly.
Newsday previously reported that D’Antoni, who once coached Nash and Nets general manager Sean Marks with the Suns, was a prime candidate to join the coaching staff. D’Antoni spent the past four seasons as coach of the Rockets before resigning after they lost in the second round of the playoffs last summer.
"We’ve assembled an experienced staff of high-character individuals with varied backgrounds, both on and off the court, that will help create a solid foundation for me and our players," Nash said in a statement. "When I set out to build this staff, I wanted to put together a committed group that would connect with our players and help put them in the best position to succeed as a team. With coaching and playing experience at the highest level and a deep background in player development, I’m confident we’ve put the right people in place to lead us forward."
D’Antoni has a 672-527 record and 10 playoff appearances in 16 seasons as an NBA head coach with five teams, including the Knicks (2008-12). He is known for developing the "seven seconds or less" offensive scheme, meaning the time his teams had to get up a shot, when Nash played with the Suns.