ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith slammed new Brooklyn Nets assistant trainer Mike D’Antoni after his rent to Steve Nash’s training team of workers used to be reported Friday morning.
The ESPN sports activities character went off on D’Antoni and his training credentials on his display, “First Take.”
“He’s proper the place he belongs,” Smith stated of D’Antoni. “He’s an assistant trainer, specifically for Steve Nash. Now, if any one will have to rent him as an assistant, it’s Steve Nash. That they had nice good fortune in combination in Phoenix, they received 65% in their video games, they went to a few convention championships even if they by no means made it to the finals and obviously, that used to be when Mike D’Antoni actually made a reputation for himself revolutionizing the sport of basketball at the offensive facet of the ball on account of what he used to be ready to do with their offense.”
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The Nets introduced Nash has added Mike D’Antoni as an assistant trainer just about a decade after taking part in for him with the Phoenix Suns (2004-2008) and the Los Angeles Lakers (2012-14).
Smith thinks D’Antoni used to be “fortunate to get that task” in Brooklyn.
He defined why.
“As a result of right here’s the truth of the location, you’ve been a head trainer — Phoenix, New York, LA, Houston — by no means were given to an NBA Finals,” Smith stated about D’Antoni. “Clearly, accidents and dangerous instances had so much to with it. He were given shut, however by no means were given there, proper? And this guy is a grasp of departing jobs proper when he is aware of he’s gonna get fired …”
Mike D’Antoni and the Suns modified the NBA. (Photograph: Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports activities)
After the Houston Rockets misplaced to the Los Angeles Lakers in the second one spherical of the playoffs, D’Antoni knowledgeable the Rockets that he didn’t need to pursue some other contract after failing to agree on an extension be offering the former summer season.
D’Antoni had completed with a mixed 227-102 file in 4 seasons with the Rockets, which integrated one travel to the Western Convention Finals and 3 appearances within the convention semifinals.
“The hot button is it used to be time for a brand new trainer in Houston,” Smith stated. “Mike D’Antoni used to be ended in consider there have been numerous alternatives in the market for him. The truth is there are people who find themselves extra deserving of those alternatives if certainly you wish to have to win a championship. Mike D’Antoni to me has confirmed that he can innovate … his taste of play may also be very entertaining. There is not any query about that. And if that’s what issues to you, that may be a precedence, Mike D’Antoni is your man, if it is as an assistant or as a head trainer.
“In case you are looking to win, which means win the ‘chip (championship), no, he ain’t the solution … Mike D’Antoni an assistant in Brooklyn is cool so long as he isn’t passing over different dudes which have been ravenous for a chance …”
Nash additionally employed Amar’e Stoudemire as a participant construction trainer after the 2 as soon as boasted a dominant pick-and-roll tandem in Phoenix (2004-10).
This is not the primary time Smith has weighed in at the Nets’ training team of workers.
When Nash used to be employed remaining month, Smith drew the ire of many NBA insiders for calling the hire “white privilege.”
He said: “Ladies and gentlemen, there is no way around this. This is white privilege. This does not happen for a Black man. No experience whatsoever? On any level as a coach? And you get the Brooklyn Nets job?”
He doubled down on his comments a day later.
“I mentioned white privilege yesterday,” he said. “I have a message to those who feel that I was wrong, that I need to apologize, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, etcetera, etcetera. I don’t give a damn what y’all feel. Y’all can all kick rocks. I don’t give a damn. I’m not budging from my position one inch.”
He continued: “My point about white privilege, tell me the Black man that would happen for? No resume whatsoever as a coach, at all. And you get a job of this magnitude. I’m not talking about Derek Fisher, with the sorry New York Knicks at the time. I’m not talking about Jason Kidd, his first era when they were building the Brooklyn Nets squad, I’m not talking about Doc Rivers in Orlando. I’m not talking about those opportunities.
“I’m talking about championship ready, and it would be a shock if you don’t win 50 games and you’re not contending for a crown. Black folks with no resume getting a job like that? I have been covering the NBA for 25 years…. brothers do not get those opportunities.”
Mark Medina contributed to this story.