Posted November 13, 2012

In Focus: Mike D’Antoni

In Focus, Mike D'Antoni

D’Antoni dribbles during a game at the 1987 McDonald’s Open in Milwaukee. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Andy Gray

Mike D’Antoni is back. After much speculation that Phil Jackson would be the next coach of the Lakers, fans woke up Monday to the news that D’Antoni was the team’s choice. According to reports, Jackson was “asking for the moon” and the team decided to go in another direction. For the Los Angeles fans unfamiliar with their new coach, D’Antoni spent six years playing for the Kansas City-Omaha Kings (1973-76), St. Louis Spirits (1976-77) and San Antonio Spurs (1977-78) before moving to Italy and spending 12 seasons with Olimpia Milano (1978-90). Here are some photos of D’Antoni in action.

D’Antoni defends Norm Van Lier during a 1975 Bulls-Kings game. (Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

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D’Antoni handles the ball during a 1975 Kings-Celtics game. (Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

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D’Antoni and an unidentified player shake hands as David Stern looks on during the 1987 McDonald’s Open. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

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D’Antoni brings up the ball during a 1987 McDonald’s Open game. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

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D’Antoni looks for an opening during a 1987 McDonald’s Open game against the Bucks. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

For more historic sports photos, NBA and otherwise, visit the SI Photo Blog and follow Andy Gray on Twitter.

5 comments
ltu
ltu

D’Antoni and an unidentified player shake hands as David Stern looks on during the 1987 McDonald’s Open. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

   The player is Valdemaras Chomicius from Zalgiris, Lithuania !

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

Can anyone explain why D'Antoni's hand is on top of the ball when he dribbles?  I thought you put you hand Under the ball and flipped it over?

moorland5115
moorland5115

What is the team called Tracer Phillips that he played for? And what is the McDonalds Open?

pval
pval

 @moorland5115  the team was called Tracer Milano. In fact Tracer was the name of the sponsor of  the team at that time (apparently in the italian basketball, the main sponsor's name is (or at least was) systematically attached to the team's name,...yuck ...) .

 

The original (and true) name of the team is Olympio Milano.

 

Anyways, at the time of the pictures (1987) Mian was the best basketball club in Europe.

 

The Mac Donald's Open ( or Championship) was an invitational tournament that existed during some years in the 1980-90. Its was a four team tournament , usually three from Europe and one NBA team.

 

No surprise you never heard of it, they were basically exhibition games , and as such, not very competitive.

 

It was a PR thing for Mc Donald's,  moslty geared towards a european audience.