Raptors general manage Bryan Colangelo said he expects Mike D’Antoni to return to the sidelines soon, but said his close friend won’t wind up in Toronto.
“We’re locked down with our coaching, with [Dwane] Casey,” Colangelo said Monday, trying to nip in the bud any talk of his former Phoenix coach going north of the border after leaving the Knicks. “We’re in the first year of what I hope will be a long-term relationship.”
Colangelo was D’Antoni’s boss with the Suns and spoke to the former Knicks coach briefly over the weekend. D’Antoni’s reputation is still great around the NBA despite four tumultuous seasons in New York, Colangelo said.
“Oh, yeah, I anticipate he gets a job in the near-term future, if it’s not next year,” Colangelo said. “If he wants to coach, I’m sure he’ll get an opportunity. He’s a very good coach, an innovative coach.”
Two jobs likely to be available for D’Antoni at season’s end will be in Washington and Portland.
Colangelo said a lot of “uncontrollable things” affected D’Antoni’s tenure, including “blending talent in midseason.” D’Antoni coached 58 players with the Knicks.
Colangelo spent 25 minutes in discussion with Leon Rose, Carmelo Anthony’s agent, and the Raptors boss would not comment on the Anthony-D’Antoni relationship.
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