Before the current buzz in the Valley for the Phoenix Suns, coach Mike D'Antoni was the mastermind behind the most exciting Phoenix basketball team after the turn of the century.
Guys such as Steve Nash, Raja Bell, Shawn Marion and Amar'e Stoudemire helped facilitate the exciting seven seconds or less offense that put many scoreboards out of business across the league.
From D'Antoni's wiki page:
"D'Antoni won the NBA Coach of the Year Award after his Suns went 62–20 to finish first in the regular season. His style, dubbed "Seven Seconds or Less", was described in a book of that name. Overall, his Suns won 50 or more games in four consecutive seasons, while Nash earned NBA MVP honors in 2005 and 2006. In addition to Nash, D'Antoni's Suns also featured All-Star power forward Amar'e Stoudemire and high-flying All-Star small forward Shawn Marion. They made consecutive appearances in the Western Conference finals in 2005 and 2006, losing to the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks, respectively."
His impact helped propel the NBA to what we see today in terms of offensive output, and thus, he finds himself on Bleacher Report's list of top the modern NBA.
9. Mike D'Antoni
"D'Antoni's legacy might outweigh his actual accomplishments, as his offensive innovations helped change the way basketball is played. Between the frenetic pace of his "Seven Seconds or Less" Phoenix Suns team to the analytically inclined style he orchestrated with James Harden and the Houston Rockets, he paved the path for today's pace-and-space game," said Zach Buckley.
"His teams won at least 53 games seven different times (four in Phoenix, three in Houston), and three of them reached the conference finals. The problem is his system wasn't for everyone, and he struggled to adapt when it didn't fit his personnel. During five-plus seasons with the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, he only managed two winning records and zero playoff wins."
D'Antoni finished just above George Karl and right behind Tyronn Lue. Gregg Popovich, Phil Jackson and Steve Kerr took home medal spots on the list.
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Donnie Druin is the Publisher for Inside The Suns and has been with Fan Nation since 2019. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin for more news, updates, analysis and more!