A column by Charleston Daily Mail Sports Editor Chuck McGill
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mike Hamrick put the full-court press on Mike D’Antoni.
The ultimate press breaker: A multi-year, multi-million dollar contract.
Hamrick, who is in his sixth year as Marshall’s athletic director, courted D’Antoni, the Los Angeles Lakers head coach, from the moment Tom Herrion resigned as Marshall University’s coach March 14.
The courtship, however, is over.
Sources told the Charleston Daily Mail on Tuesday afternoon that D’Antoni will remain the head coach of the Lakers and, thus, will not be in position to accept the vacant Herd hoops job.
D’Antoni is staying put. Hamrick is moving on.
It is clear Hamrick went all-in to lure D’Antoni from the bright lights of L.A. to the hills of West Virginia. The Herd AD visited D’Antoni in Los Angeles for four days to make his pitch for D’Antoni to come home. D’Antoni, 62, played college ball at Marshall from 1970-73, about 130 miles from his hometown of Mullens.
Make no mistake — there was mutual interest. That is why the coaching search is at 40 days and counting. Hamrick waited. And waited. And waited. If the Lakers made a move, Hamrick was ready to pounce and D’Antoni was ready to slip on that Kelly green jacket once and for all.
D’Antoni met with Lakers brass — team executive Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak — multiple times this week to discuss D’Antoni’s future with the organization. At this point, the Lakers just aren’t going to budge and are adamant about keeping D’Antoni as the coach…