The Denver Nuggets plan a return to the high-octane offense that made them successful in recent years. That plan moved ahead Wednesday when the franchise met with Mike D’Antoni, a known proponent of fast-paced play in his past stints as head coach.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, D’Antoni has met with the Nuggets brass to discuss the team’s vacant head coaching position. Denver’s most recent coach was Brian Shaw, who was fired in March.
The report added that other candidates for the job include Melvin Hunt, the interim coach for the Nuggets after Shaw left, and Michael Malone, a former coach for the Sacramento Kings. All had conversations with Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly and possibly could be interviewed for the position.
Among the three reported candidates for the job in Denver, the 64-year old D’Antoni has the richest coaching experience. He was a head coach for various teams in the Italian league from 1990 to 1997 and coached the Nuggets previously, from 1998 to 1999. Other coaching gigs include stints with the Phoenix Suns from 2003 to 2008; New York Knicks from 2008 to 2012; and the Los Angeles Lakers from 2012 to 2014.
The 43-year-old Malone was the head coach for the Kings from 2013 to 2014 but was an assistant for a number of NBA teams including the Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Hornets, and Golden State Warriors since 2011. Meanwhile, Hunt has no prior head coaching experience except for the interim job last season. He was an assistant or a scout in previous jobs with the Houston Rockets, Lakers and Cavaliers.
For his NBA coaching career, D’Antoni has a 455-426 win-loss record in the regular season and 26-33 in the postseason. His most successful stint came in Phoenix, when he led the Suns to two conference finals appearances.