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Report: Marshall University contacts Lakers’ Mike D’Antoni about vacant coaching position

Mar 27, 2014, 10:12 PM EDT

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Mike D’Antoni is in the midst of guiding this version of the Lakers to one of the worst seasons in franchise history, and even though he has two years left on his deal, only one of them is guaranteed, and his future in Los Angeles couldn’t possibly be less certain once this current campaign comes to its merciful conclusion on April 16.

L.A. may decide to retain D’Antoni next year if the team is unable to sign any impactful free agents this summer, because it wouldn’t make sense to pay two head coaches if the club is expected to miss the postseason with a below average year once again. But that’s a bit of a long shot at this point, as the stench of this dreadful season needs to be washed away, with a coaching change promising fans a clean slate heading into next year, if nothing else.

D’Antoni has a certain level of cache in the coaching ranks, however, so even if the Lakers decide it’s time to part ways, he will have other options. And that apparently extends to the college ranks, as well.

Fron Jeff Goodman and Marc Stein of

Marshall University has reached out to Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni to gauge his interest in coaching his alma mater, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told that the Thundering Herd have pursued D’Antoni before and made this latest inquiry — which coincides with his uncertain future in Los Angeles — because they “always sound him out” any time Marshall has an opening in a bow to D’Antoni’s stature in school history.

But sources stressed D’Antoni is highly unlikely to make such a switch even if the Lakers opt for a change at season’s end. Although he has served as an unofficial sounding board for school officials in the past, D’Antoni has coached only at the pro level, with three stops in Italy and stints with the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Lakers in the NBA.

Jeff Borzello of says the interest is mutual:

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

D’Antoni’s style actually seems geared toward the college game, with coaches at that level acting as dictators where players are all expected to fall in line, no questions asked. Historically, D’Antoni has had communication issues with players not believed to be in his inner circle, and his straight forward yet sarcastic remarks would be a huge hit at the college level.

The system D’Antoni runs might also be better suited to the college game at this point, but it’s difficult to envision that we’d ever get to find out if it would indeed be a success. It’s unclear how well he’d be able to recruit players, or how much interest he’d have in even doing so — and that’s really what college hoops is about for head coaches, more than anything else.


  1. coltzfan166 - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Maybe they should’ve just kept Mike Brown.

    • kwame410 - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:55 AM

      please take him

  2. coltzfan166 - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Maybe they should’ve just kept Mike Brown.

    • 00maltliquor - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      You could say that 3 times and it still wouldn’t make it right! lol
      D’Antoni’s bad but I’d rather have him then the other Mike.

  3. aboogy123456 - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Kurt Rambis as the head coach and Derek Fisher as an assistant next year!

    • iammr713 - Mar 28, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      How about no.. Rambis was hired to improve the Defense this year and we are 30th.

  4. eugenesaxe1 - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    He needs to consider this position seriously. Even if the Lakers fiasco isn’t totally his fault, I don’t see anyone jumping up to give him another NBA HC spot.

  5. seattlesuperchronic - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    Do it, Mike. Go somewhere you’ll be appreciated.

  6. 00maltliquor - Mar 27, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    LOL isn’t that a little bit disrespectful on Marshall’s part to contact MDA about a coaching vacancy while he’s still coaching this season and under contract for 2 more!!?? It’s like they are already counting him out! LOL

    “So Mr. D’Antoni, you know you’re gonna get fired right? We got a spot for you when the ax drops…”

    I personally think he’s gonna be back for the full year NEXT year. But I think that would be a good look for MDA to go to the college level. A real good look. Plenty of young, fast, fresh legs all 6”8 or under with a shorter 3 point line. His system would look marvelous on the college level.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Mar 28, 2014 at 5:27 AM

      Run-and-gun. Players would love it.

  7. R. Edmond - Mar 28, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    Take my coach…please.

  8. cantonbound13 - Mar 28, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Jim Buss’s guy.

  9. alongthegulf - Mar 28, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    I also believe Mike D’Antoni style is suited to college. D’Antoni like to teach his style of basketball. The Suns bought into it. The Knicks and Lakers didn’t. The Suns were a winning team, the Knicks and Lakers are not. The Suns were not a super star franchise. The Knicks and Lakers are. It’s hard to teach super stars anything. They figure they already know everything. Mike may want to still be an NBA coach. Life too short to but heads. Mike should go where he will have the most impact and find the most inner peace.

  10. granadafan - Mar 28, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    If he’d like to go right now, no one would object.

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