Mike D’Antoni led the Phoenix Suns to the Western Conference finals in 2005 and 2006.
Mike D'Antoni led the Phoenix Suns to the Western Conference finals in 2005 and 2006. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Mike D'Antoni

Born: May 8, 1951 in Mullens, West Virginia

Playing career: After playing at Marshall University, D'Antoni was drafted by the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in the second round of the 1973 NBA Draft. Had NBA stints with both the Kings (1973-76) and San Antonio Spurs (1977-78). Also played in the ABA with the Spirits of St. Louis (1976-77) and in Italy with Olimpia Milano (1978-1990). On the Italian team, D'Antoni finished as the team's all-time leading scorer, won five Italian League titles, two Euroleague titles, two Cups of Italy, one Korac Cup and one Interconintental Cup

Coaching career: Has coached extensively in Italy and the NBA. D'Antoni's coaching stints in Italy include Philips/Recoaro Milano (1990-94) and Benneton Treviso (1994-97, 2001-02). He led Philips/Recoaro Milano to a 1992 European Championship and 1993 Korac Cup. With Benneton Treviso, D'Antoni won the Cup of Europe and 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 New York Knicks (2008-12). D'Antoni has compiled a 388-339 record. He led the Suns to the Western Conference Finals in 2005 and 2006. D'Antoni was forced to resign last season with the Knicks after an 18-24 start.

Connections to Lakers: Kobe Bryant played for D'Antoni when he was one of Team USA's assistant coaches in both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. Steve Nash played four seasons and won two MVP awards under D'Antoni with the Phoenix Suns (2004-2008).